Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Trump's scandal-hit environment chief Pruitt resigns

Trump's scandal-hit environment chief Pruitt resigns

Pruitt moved to roll back environmental regulations affecting many industries. Wheeler said Trump "hasn't been that successful" in his business endeavors and had "more baggage then all of the other Republican candidates combined".

Florida Democrats eagerly pointed to Adam Putnam's early praise of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in the wake of Pruitt's resignation Thursday after a scandal-plagued 18 months at the helm.

Pruitt made no mention of the scandals riddling his tenure in his resignation letter, which was made public Thursday afternoon. Trump writes on Twitter, "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job".

Pruitt is a former Oklahoma attorney general who worked toward deregulation during his time at EPA. He instituted unusual and costly round-the-clock protection for himself, flew premium class to Europe and North Africa, and directed agency staffers to help seek housing for his family, high-dollar employment for his wife, and pleasures such as luxury lotion and tickets to top sporting events.

However, EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson said Pruitt thanked the woman for her comments.

Despite the laundry list of ethics complaints putting him on thin ice, Pruitt was invited to and appeared at the White House Wednesday for Trump's Independence Day celebration, where he and other cabinet members received a shout-out from the president. The agency's security officials are expected to decide what level of protection Wheeler needs.

Kristin Mink, the mom who took her 2-year-old son to a protest demanding that former EPA chief Scott Pruitt resign from his position, says that she is "glad he took the hint". "This is the follow-up stories, the people's lives he's affected, going down to the agents and everyone else". Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who, in an interview with CNN past year in March, accused the EPA of "brainwashing" American children.

Senior White House advisor Stephen Miller has also been confronted by protesters, including being called a "fascist" while dining at a Mexican restaurant and, most recently, facing a crowd of demonstrators outside his home in D.C. who gathered to denounce the zero immigration policy, USA Today reported. James Inhofe (R-OK), including as chief counsel for the senator on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee. Wheeler is a career consultant, energy lobbyist and political aid.

Wheeler's previous capacity at the EPA was as deputy administrator, Pruitt's second in command. He is now facing more than twelve federal investigations, including from the EPA's Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Chalmers told CNN their proposal to the EPA is in its early stages, and in a statement said, "We offer the EPA an established, low-priced option to move material off the Navajo Nation, recycle it into fuel for carbon-free nuclear energy, and dispose of the remnants in existing state-of-the-art facilities".

Andrew Wheeler, the EPA's current deputy administrator, will take over as the organisation's acting head on Monday, Mr Trump said. Pruitt's management of the agency has prompted a series of investigations.

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