Scott Pruitt out at EPA after months of ethics scandals

Scott Pruitt

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With Pruitt's departure, President Trump lost an administrator many conservatives regarded as one of the more effective members of his Cabinet.

There are now more than a dozen investigations into Pruitt's alleged legal and ethical violations. Former coal lobbyist and current EPA deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler will take over as the agency's acting director on Monday.

President Trump tweeted on Thursday, announcing Pruitt's departure from the EPA.

If Trump nominates Wheeler to lead the agency in a permanent capacity, a Senate vote would be required. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, wrote in a letter to Wheeler on Friday.

Under Wheeler, "the whole tone is going to be different", the energy lobbyist said.

Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist and a former aide to Senator James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who has denied the existence of climate change and has long opposed legislation to address global warming. Wheeler is widely expected to take up Pruitt's efforts to roll back and streamline regulation. Lawmakers posed tough questions on a range of issues also including raises for top aides and reports of retaliation against EPA whistleblowers. Later, Mr Trump said Mr Pruitt chose to resign because he felt he was a distraction.

"He came to me and he said, 'I have such great confidence in the administration".

Green groups expressed the same sentiment in response to Pruitt's resignation on Thursday.

Pruitt, a Republican, had appeared Wednesday at a White House picnic for Independence Day, wearing a red-checked shirt and loafers with gold trim.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this", added Trump. Pruitt's travel records showed the U.S. government spent United States dollars 17,000 in taxpayer money on the trip to promote USA exports of "liquefied natural gas", which is not part of the EPA's jurisdiction. As Oklahoma's former attorney general, he waged a legal fight against the environmental rules implemented by the agency he eventually would head.

Industry groups praised Pruitt for reducing their regulatory burden in his short time in office.

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As scrutiny of Pruitt grew in recent months, Trump initially stood by his EPA chief.

Faegre Baker Daniels hired Wheeler from the Senate committee in 2009 and he lobbied on behalf of clients to slash environmental regulations and push for greater federal support for the fossil fuels industry.

He was forced out following a series of revelations involving pricey trips with first-class airline seats and unusual security spending, including a $43,000 soundproof booth for making private phone calls.

Her post and video has been viewed over half a million times.

Some of the tasks were outright weird, including a reported order to find and obtain a used Trump-brand mattress from a Trump hotel.

As an evangelical Christian, Pruitt approached his job from a biblical worldview.

Likewise, Pruitt's resignation letter was equally as glowing toward the president.

"Scott Pruitt was as reckless toward the planet as he was toward his own position in government", Cuomo said in a statement.

"We're proud of him for that", Pollard said. The people he worked with "respect him, and I think that will help move the agenda forward and make sure the accomplishments are long lasting".

'We're proud of him for that, ' Pollard said.

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