EPA Head Scott Pruitt Resigns

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to President Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead

President Trump's embattled chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, resigned Thursday.

"I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda". Which means in the short term, the departure isn't likely to change the trajectory of the EPA. He played a key role in withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, endorsed a proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, suspended the Clean Water Rule and began a review of the stricter vehicle fuel emissions standards that were set to take effect in 2022.

Democrats had been gunning for Pruitt even before the former Oklahoma attorney general was nominated to head the EPA, however, mobilizing protesters on social networks by using the hashtag #PollutingPruitt and accusing him of having ties with the oil and coal industries. "I don't want to be a distraction.' And I think Scott felt that he was a distraction", said Trump.

An Ohio native, Wheeler served as a special assistant in the EPA's Pollution Prevention and Toxics office in the early 1990s before moving over to the Senate environment panel, where he eventually became GOP staff director under Sen. Among Wheeler's clients were utility giant Xcel Energy and uranium miner Energy Fuels Resources Inc., reported NPR.

"Andrew is one of the most well-known, well-respected policy professionals in Washington on energy and environment", Matthew Dempsey, a former colleague of Wheeler's in Inhofe's office, who now works for a lobbying firm representing the oil and gas industry, told the Times. Wheeler then went to work as a lobbyist for top coal companies and other businesses and interests.

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. "He accomplished more in 18 months than EPA reformers could have expected after four years of work".

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And environmentalists have seized on Wheeler's record as a former energy lobbyist and coal lover to herald the acting administrator as the environment's biggest enemy.

With a past life as an energy industry lobbyist, Wheeler is not an environmentalist, to say the least.

He also oversaw large raises to favorite aides, reportedly against the express wishes of the White House. As Pruitt's controversies grew in April, the Union on Concerned Scientists said it would have serious concerns if Wheeler were made EPA administrator.

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.

"I believe man has an impact on the climate, but what is not completely understood is what the impact is", Wheeler told a Senate committee last November.

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