Scott Pruitt, Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Chief, Resigns

06 July, 2018, 03:29 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • White House looking into Scott Pruitt using staff for personal use

Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt has denied a report that he asked President Donald Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and put Pruitt in charge of the Justice Department.

President Trump announced EPA chief Scott Pruitt had resigned on July 5.

"It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring", Pruitt wrote in his resignation letter to the president.

White House advisers promptly shot down Pruitt's proposal, it was reported.

Trump also said Andy Wheeler, the the EPA's current deputy head, will assume the role of acting administrator, adding, "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda". The president did not mention any of the more than 12 investigations into Pruitt's potential ethics violations.

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

Mr. Pruitt's resignation will take effect Friday. "That was the position he was originally interested in". Inhofe had defended Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, after meeting with him last month.

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Trump has praised Pruitt for slashing regulations on the energy and manufacturing industries, including his move to repeal Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature program to cut carbon emissions from power plants, known as the Clean Power Plan. Those groups applauded his departure.

In a tweet Thursday afternoon, Trump said he had accepted the resignation of the beleaguered EPA chief.

Many of those scandals led to investigations.

That alarmed some critics of the agency's policies under the Trump administration. The US Government Accountability Office concluded the EPA violated two laws by installing the $43,000 phone booth for his office without telling lawmakers first. Republicans from Iowa, Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, have also spoken harshly against Pruitt's for a proposal to change rules regarding ethanol and renewable fuels. He had also enlisted his staff to contact conservative groups and companies to find a lucrative job for his unemployed wife, including emails seeking a Chick-fil-A franchise from a senior executive at the fast-food chain.

Pruitt went on Fox News that day to defend his conduct, unapologetically calling his arrangement similar to an " Airbnb situation" where lodgers only pay for the nights they stay, and countering the criticism that renting from a energy lobbyist is a potential conflict.

Wheeler previously worked for the EPA from 1991 to 1995 before moving to serve on the Senate Committee for Environment and Public Works. Some 170 lawmakers signed a resolution calling for Pruitt to resign.

"Pruitt's departure may cost us some jokes, but it won't change the Trump administration or help save the planet or Americans' health".

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