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Pruitt resigns as EPA Administrator

07 Juillet 2018

For some Republican supporters of Trump and Pruitt allies, the ethical mistakes were outweighed by the curbing of the federal government workforce, the eradication of the Paris climate accord, the regulations that were targeted and Pruitt's willingness to engage with industry executives and lobbyists.

As my fellow former EPA administrator William Ruckelshaus wrote in The Washington Post in November, it is hard but not impossible to regain the trust of the public once it has been lost.

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Aside from using the EPA budget as a personal petty cash box, Pruitt allegedly subjected his staffers to the daily humiliation of acting as his personal concierge: Fetching fancy snacks, searching the city for his favorite luxury lotion, and brokering the sale of a used mattress from the Trump Hotel.

Mr Pruitt's resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office a year ago.

Laughing stock: Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma, said: 'There are often second acts in politics, but it's very hard to come back from 18 months as the principal target of every late night comedian's jokes'.

Prominent media critics that Trump likes - including Laura Ingraham - said Pruitt was the "swamp" and needed to go.

Democratic U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly said after his resignation: "Scott Pruitt's reign of venality is finally over".

Despite Pruitt's blowing public money on everything from over-the-top security details to luxury fountain pens, it took till today for president Trump to announce Pruitt's resignation on Twitter.

After Pruitt's resignation, all eyes are on Wheeler.

Jennifer Kaplan, a spokesperson for EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins, said Thursday that the office was "assessing and evaluating" its ongoing audits and investigations in the wake of Pruitt's departure.

As the former Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt worked hard to burnish his anti-gay creds, opposing marriage equality and the rights of transgender students. The Washington Post reported that a longtime Pruitt friend and lobbyist helped arrange the trip and later registered as a foreign agent representing Morocco.

President Donald Trump wanted Pruitt to leave, after revelations that the administrator's public schedule had been altered to shield some meetings from public view, they said.

"Andrew is one of the most well-known, well-respected policy professionals in Washington on energy and environment-he knows everybody", Matthew Dempsey, a lobbyist who knows Wheeler from Inhofe's office, told the New York Times (paywall).

Democrats and environmental groups decried Wheeler as an apologist for the coal industry.

The departure marked a precipitous fall for Pruitt, who during his roughly 16 months in office took steps to reverse more than a dozen major Obama-era regulations and overhauled key elements of the agency's approach to scientific research. Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.

Pop the champagne - at long last Scott Pruitt, the controversial and destructive leader of the EPA has resigned!

"We see Mr. Wheeler as fitting a very typical pattern of behavior", said Chris Saeger, of the Western Values Project.

Pruitt resigns as EPA Administrator