President Donald Trump announced Thursday that his embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief, Scott Pruitt, had resigned. Senate has confirmed Deputy Andrew Wheeler to pick up where Pruitt left off dismantling EPA regs.
Widespread disgust for Pruitt "should serve as a blaring red siren for the Trump administration", Udall said. Trump later told reporters, "Scott Pruitt did an outstanding job inside of the EPA".
Trump said deputy director Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, will replace Pruitt.
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The president added that he has "no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!"
But as summer unfolded, the amount of pressure on Pruitt began to near its breaking point as former staffers came forward to air their concerns and accusations about the EPA chief.
Mr Trump has praised Mr 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. Pruitt was previously attorney general of Oklahoma, where he was close to the state's oil industry and waged a campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to slow climate change. "But Mr. Pruitt's brazen abuse of his position for his own personal gain has been absolutely astounding, rivaled only by the silence of far too many in Congress and in the White House who allowed Mr. Pruitt's unethical, and at times, possibly illegal behavior to go unchecked", the DE senator said in a lengthy statement. Pruitt also allegedly used office resources for personal matters, which included an attempt to get a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, Marilyn.
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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.
At the time, the president was feuding with Sessions over the AG's decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, according to CNN, which cited three people familiar with Pruitt's pitch. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), an arch-climate denier, and as a coal lobbyist.
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"It has become increasingly challenging for the EPA to carry out its mission with the administrator under investigation", said Barrasso, who is from Wyoming.