EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns, Trump Tweets

Ethical questions have been raised about Scott Pruitt's management decisions as administrator of the EPA

Ethical questions have been raised about Scott Pruitt's management decisions as administrator of the EPA

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's resignation was "long overdue", some lawmakers said as President Trump announced the Cabinet change on Thursday.

On Thursday, Trump called Pruitt's top deputy Andrew Wheeler to inform him that he would be taking the helm of the agency, according to an individual who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this", Trump said, not mentioning the scandals that befell Pruitt. Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt's deputy, will take over as acting administrator Monday, Trump said in the tweets.

"I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", Trump wrote.

"With Scott Pruitt in charge, we can finally unravel the mess of the EPA, and begin developing and implementing thoughtful policies that will make measurable improvements to our natural resources and unleash an energy revolution that will bring jobs and higher wages to Americans".

Mr Pruitt has become the focus of multiple investigations in recent months, including by his own agency's inspector general, two other independent federal agencies and by Congress itself.

The EPA under Pruitt has come under intense media scrutiny for accusations of ethics violations, including private jet travel, contacts with energy executives, and trying to find his wife a job.

At the time, the president was feuding with Sessions over the AG's decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, according to CNN, which cited three people familiar with Pruitt's pitch.

"Unlike Mr. Pruitt - who had come to Washington as an outsider and aspiring politician, only to get caught up in a swirl of controversy over his costly first-class travel and security spending - Mr. Wheeler is viewed as a consummate Washington insider who avoids the limelight and has spent years effectively navigating the rules", the Times reported. Trump told reporters later that Pruitt had approached him and offered to resign, as opposed to being pushed out.

"From moving to roll back strong fuel economy standards, to repealing the Clean Power Plan, to undermining chemical regulation, to suppressing climate science, to advocating for USA withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Scott Pruitt made the EPA stand for Every Polluter's Ally", he said in a statement.

He was confirmed by the Senate on February 17, 2017, on a 52-46 vote, the most recorded "no" votes of any EPA administrator.

In a statement, Friends of the Earth argued that fossil fuel industry insiders like Wheeler "have no business leading the EPA" and vowed to hold him accountable "for his efforts to harm our public health and environment" during his time as acting EPA chief. Yet today it listed 17 major Pruitt scandals.

Yet as the administration ran through a litany of dismissals and resignations - including Tom Bossert, David Shulkin, H R McMaster, Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn, Hope Hicks, Rob Porter, Omarosa Manigault Newman, Dina Powell, Tom Price, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, James Comey and Michael Flynn - Pruitt appeared to be bulletproof.

Pruitt's EPA proposed plans to eliminate programs created to protect children from lead paint.

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