Scott Pruitt's Resignation Letter Was Really Something :: Politics :: News :: Scott Pruitt

White House looking into Scott Pruitt using staff for personal use

The moment you'd been waiting for arrived on Thursday afternoon when Scott Pruitt, fan of fancy lotions and fossil fuel lobbyists, finally resigned as head of the EPA. Trump writes on Twitter, "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job".

Trump announced that Pruitt's deputy, former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, would take over Monday as acting head of the agency that the president has tasked with dismantling Barack Obama's green legacy. I have no doubt and complete confidence he will continue the important deregulatory work that Scott Pruitt started while being a good steward of the environment.

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he tweeted. And later: "I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity".

Now that Pruitt officially announced he was stepping down from the EPA Thursday, green groups that have fought so long to stop him say his resignation will bring a whole new set of challenges. But Pruitt had also been dogged for months by scandals that spawned more than a dozen federal and congressional investigations.

In a letter sent to EPA employees obtained by BuzzFeed News, Wheeler said he looks forward to working toward the "collective goal of protecting public health and the environment on behalf of the American people".

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Brandon Hurlbut, former chief of staff at the Department of Energy, said the ethics complaints are one thing that is likely to change with Wheeler. It's still unclear. What we do know: His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, holds views similar to Pruitt's.

He's been investigated for undertaking expensive, first-class worldwide travel with a large detail, and for spending $43,000 to build a soundproof phone booth in his office.

"Pruitt abused power in a disgraceful way by using the job for perks and trying to enrich himself and his family", Hurlbut told GTM.

Pruitt, who appears to be passionate about baseball and religion, doesn't seem particularly interested in the environment - or even, arguably, in destroying it.

Pruitt's resignation follows months during which the EPA administrator has been embroiled in one ethics controversy after the next.

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

Murray Energy employees contributed $103,580 to Trump's campaign committee during the 2016 presidential race, more than those from any other company, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group.

Wheeler is so close to the decision-makers in Congress that he actually raised money for two of the senators who went on to confirm his appointment.

His job had been in jeopardy since it emerged he had leased a property a year ago that was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist, whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from the EPA.

Now Wheeler is back in the public sector, and those years in the federal government may give him an advantage that Pruitt, who spent his career at the state level, never had.

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