EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns After String of Scandals

Ethical questions have been raised about Scott Pruitt's management decisions as administrator of the EPA

Ethical questions have been raised about Scott Pruitt's management decisions as administrator of the EPA

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned, citing "unprecedented" and "unrelenting attacks" on him and his family in a letter to President Donald Trump.

The list of accusations levelled against the 50-year-old head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has grown nearly too long to itemise in a single article.

The senator was also a supporter of Pruitt, according to the Times, and Wheeler's rise demonstrates the growing influence of a group of former Inhofe staff members across the Trump administration and Washington including Ryan Jackson, who is now the EPA's chief of staff. Founder Bob Murray has been pushing President Trump to end the war on coal, recently telling FOX Business he supports Trump's policies and those of Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Within the last few months, multiple internal and congressional investigations were launched into reports that Pruitt retaliated against employees and whistleblowers who raised concerns about his spending decisions - a particular concern for watchdog groups and lawmakers because such actions could violate federal law.

Despite the laundry list of ethics complaints putting him on thin ice, Pruitt was invited to and appeared at the White House on Wednesday for Trump's Independence Day celebration, where he and other cabinet members received a shout-out from the president. "It was a secret. and they would decide what to nix from the public calendar". Other allegations of Pruitt's excessive spending and his use of EPA aides to find his wife employment - including an attempt to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise in Tulsa, Okla. - soon piled on and frustrated conservatives.

Here are some things to know about Pruitt's second-in-command, who needs Senate confirmation before he becomes the agency's permanent leader.

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All told, Pruitt left EPA having faced more than a dozen inquiries or reviews into his practices at the agency, including his first-class plane travel, a room that he rented from a lobbyist at $50 per night and the installation of a soundproof booth in his office.

Mr Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, also was known for questioning the human role in global climate change.

The official, describing Team Trump's feeling about Pruitt, wondered whether he would still hold his job as he could crop up in Democratic candidates' ads hitting the president's "swamp", CNN reported Wednesday.

Many on the Right noted that Pruitt's behavior was either similar or better than that of previous EPA administrators. Through attrition, Pruitt and Trump aimed to cut EPA staff in half by 2021.

Republicans earlier this year countered that Wheeler, 53, was well-qualified to lead the agency, having worked at the EPA early in his career and serving as Republican staff chief of the Senate Environment Committee before becoming a lobbyist nine years ago.
But Wheeler told The Hill newspaper this week that he's not interested in the top EPA job.

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