EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns

Evan Vucci  AP

Evan Vucci AP

President Trump's embattled chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned Thursday. President Donald President Trump tweeted Thursday, July 5, he has accepted resignation of Pruitt. According to his former biography on the state of Oklahoma's official website, Pruitt was a "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda". The Clean Power Plan aimed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants almost one-third by 2030.

Despite Trump's praise, Pruitt's departure follows a number of embarrassing stories and reports about his work at the EPA, which included wild spending, efforts to land his wife a high-paying job by using his powerful office and questionable practices. "Our understanding is that Mr. Wheeler will not be involved in any decision on this Energy Fuels proposal".

"All these things that people might not have an understanding about, really what it does is it speaks to the over 200,000 people in our country who die prematurely from air pollution".

"Andrew Wheeler is the ideal choice to serve as Acting Administrator. In the meantime, I know Assistant Administrator Andrew Wheeler is well prepared to continue the progress already made under President Trump". "But you're not going to see the EPA, at least under my direction, make up a lot as we go along".

However, Brune calls Wheeler "a coal lobbyist dogged by ethical questions". Over an eight-year period, Wheeler earned more than $3 million lobbying for Murray Energy. It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.

He was also instrumental previous year in lobbying Trump to withdraw the United States from the global 2015 Paris climate accord to combat global warming.

- AUTOS: Pruitt's EPA has proposed freezing vehicle fuel-efficiency standards at 2020 levels for the next five years, according to a draft of the proposal obtained by Sen.

Wheeler's public statements show him to be a skeptic, like Pruitt, about the extent to which coal, oil and gas emissions drive climate change, something that mainstream science says is indisputable fact.

Andrew Wheeler, seated on the far right, attended a March 2017 meeting between Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray about promoting policies to benefit the finances of the coal industry.

Before Wheeler took on the post as Pruitt's second-in-command, he was a principle consultant for FaegreBD Consulting.

Unsurprisingly, other environmental advocacy groups are also applauding Pruitt's departure.

"Scott Pruitt's reign of venality is finally over", wrote Connolly. "There is no appropriate basis for retaining a cabinet secretary who has behaved like Pruitt".

Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, suggests that it's time for the EPA to "clean house". But Pruitt had also been dogged for months by a seemingly unending string of scandals that spawned more than a dozen federal and congressional investigations. "The independent and experienced leader cared deeply about the future of the agency and restored its effectiveness".

Taking over from an ambitious predecessor known for seeking out the rich, powerful and conservative, the Environmental Protection Agency's newly named acting chief has promised to reach out to anxious staffers throughout the demoralized agency and to lawmakers of both political parties.

He denied wrongdoing amid multiple inquiries into his conduct.

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