Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns

Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that his embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, had resigned.

Andrew Wheeler, the former deputy EPA administrator, is unlikely to shift the agency's course as he steps into his new role as acting chief.

As acting EPA head, "Andrew Wheeler is well prepared to continue the progress already made under President Trump", Barrasso added.

Even without all the scandals and the rampant allegations of corruption surrounding former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, staffers in the agency would have certainly welcomed his ouster. Here's what you need to know about Wheeler's background as he takes over the agency tasked with preserving the country's environment and natural resources.

Until now, Trump had stood by Pruitt - a zealous lieutenant who strongly defended his decision to quit the Paris climate accords - praising his work to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations that the president says hinder economic growth. Mr. Pruitt was bad for the environment and bad for wildlife.

"He is somebody who has been preparing for a position of responsibility like this really for all of his life", says Scott Segal, an attorney who has been working on environmental policy for a quarter-century.

Wheeler is a Butler County native and Case Western Reserve University graduate who formerly worked for Ohio GOP Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., whom you may recall from the 2015 floor speech in which he rebutted climate change science with a snowball.

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It's possible that Trump will decide to keep Wheeler on as EPA head, but his prospects might be hampered by anti-Trump social media posts that Wheeler made before the 2016 election.

Trump signaled Thursday afternoon that it wasn't Pruitt's anti-environment views that led to his demise.

In a recent interview, Wheeler told the Washington Examiner that he wasn't interested in the top job at the agency. The Senate confirmed Wheeler as the agency's deputy administrator in April. "Andrew worked for me for 14 years, has an impeccable reputation and has the experience to be a strong leader at the EPA", he said.

In the past couple of months, almost 40,000 Care2 members signed a petition urging Trump to fire Pruitt - and honestly, who knows if Pruitt left on his own accord?

The list of accusations levelled against the 50-year-old EPA chief had grown nearly too long to itemise.

The D.C. mom who confronted now-former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday and asked him to resign said she was "jumping up and down" at today's news that he had stepped down. It was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from EPA.

The official, describing Team Trump's feeling about Pruitt, wondered whether he would still hold his job as he could crop up in Democratic candidates' ads hitting the president's "swamp", CNN reported Wednesday. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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