"Before everyone gets excited about Pruitt, remember we're going to get all the same horrific policy under Andrew Wheeler, without any of the comic, attention-drawing personal corruption", Vox environment writer David Roberts tweeted after President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he had accepted Pruitt's resignation. In a statement, independent Senator Bernie Sanders said: "Scott Pruitt was the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency".
"Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this", Trump wrote. He continued in that role through previous year and lobbied the Trump Administration on behalf of Murray Energy even while being considered for the deputy administrator role at the EPA. Investigators on Capitol Hill had summoned current and former EPA aides for interviews, as part of the more than dozen federal inquiries into Pruitt's spending and management of the agency. Emails obtained by the Sierra Club environmental group showed Mr Pruitt had an aide contact the chief executive of a fast-food chain about his wife becoming a franchise owner.
Mr Pruitt's fate seemed secure for the rest of Wednesday at least, since it was Independence Day and the president had no scheduled public appearances aside from a picnic in the grounds of the White House.
As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the agency he eventually came to lead for its efforts to regulate pollution. Pruitt defended himself against numerous allegations, saying that people are creating controversy because they are against his and the administration's agenda at EPA.
"[Wheeler] will be similar to Pruitt in terms of the agenda - he understands the Trump administration and will carry out the agenda", Matthew Dempsey, a former colleague of Wheeler's who works with an energy lobbying firm told the Times. He rented an apartment linked to oil industry lobbyists in a pricey neighborhood of the capital for a mere US$50 a night, a sum he only paid for on nights he actually slept there. Mink said that when she first approached Pruitt, he "was all smiles", but as their conversation progressed, that smile quickly faded and the former EPA administrator got increasingly defensive and uncomfortable.
"We urge him to immediately commit to undoing the massive damage to EPA's work done under Pruitt's leadership", he said. Pruitt also maintained incomplete official calendars to hide his... Senate has confirmed Deputy Andrew Wheeler to pick up where Pruitt left off dismantling EPA regs. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was sacked previous year after it was disclosed he took costly charter flights instead of commercial planes.
Pruitt's EPA moved to rescind the Clean Water Rule, which clarified the Clean Water Act to prohibit industries from dumping pollutants into streams and wetlands. "The environment doesn't need deregulation, we need more regulations to protect the environment. this should not be a partisan issue", she said.