Pruitt resigns as EPA Administrator

08 July, 2018, 01:17 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks at a news conference with Pasquale

US President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of his scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt.

The Democrats' political guns are now aiming at Pruitt's replacement, acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, a "coal lobbyist who has slammed climate science" but also "trashed Trump in a 2016 Facebook post", per Coral Davenport of the New York Times.

Wheeler may pursue some of the similar goals, biofuels groups say, but they believe he will be more transparent and not "color outside the lines" as they claim Pruitt did.

"I'll just say this: I wouldn't lose any sleep if EPA Administrator (Scott) Pruitt would be let go by the president, or resigned", said Young.

Pruitt rolled back auto emissions standards, which would have required vehicles sold in the U.S.to average at least 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

Spent years playing various roles on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which oversees the EPA, drafting regulations on chemical safety, air and water pollution and climate change - generally seeking to reduce government regulations on industries that generate greenhouse gases.

'I don't think that whatever things he may be accused of are things that most Oklahomans are going to hold against him if he decides to run for office in the future, ' Worthen said.

The EPA's Office of Inspector General today told CNN: "Any ongoing or pending OIG reviews related to the Administrator and/or his team will continue - regardless of the Administrator's resignation".

Despite his short tenure, Pruitt is leaving a big mark.

Wheeler has a long history in politics. He worked for the agency for several years in the '90s.

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In 2009, he became a lobbyist for the firm Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting. Wheeler also represented Underwriters Laboratories, which does testing and certification for the EPA among other organizations; Xcel Energy; and Insurance Auto Auctions, a salvaged vehicle company, according to his financial disclosure form.

"[Wheeler] has the relationships on Capitol Hill", Dempsey said. "And I would love to return to that".

The models are sought after by trucking companies looking to evade environmental protection rules because they are less expensive to run-and derided by health experts and green groups.

"When you feel like you are being thrown out of the pot and into the frying pan, it's not cause for enthusiasm", Natural Resources Defense Council spokesperson Bob Deans told the NewsHour. Wheeler is a former aide to Republican Senator James Inhofe, an outspoken climate change skeptic, and a former coal industry lobbyist.

He was also an aide to Sen.

Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, from Pruitt's home state of Oklahoma, praised Pruitt's efforts to cut red tape for industry. Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt's deputy, is expected to fill his shoes to an exact match - though presumably without the humiliating scandals.

And in his own words, Wheeler is unsure about the extent of the impact humans have on climate change, despite the overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that people are largely responsible for the recent temperature increases.

It is unclear exactly what Wheeler's plans are for the RFS, but during a Senate hearing in November, he said in response to questioning that he respected the program as the "law of the land".

Asked about the matter at his Senate committee hearing a year ago, Wheeler promised he "would certainly listen to the career scientists at the agency and the outside science advisory boards to the agency on what is the best available science at the time for any regulatory decisions".

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