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Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA head; successor a coal mining insider

06 July 2018

"Outstanding? Instead of protecting our air and water (Scott Pruitt) gave polluters unprecedented influence and access to the EPA", he said in response to Trump's praise of the outgoing EPA chief.

President Donald Trump announced Pruitt's resignation on Twitter, noting that EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will assume the title of acting administrator as of Monday. 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.

"It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in this role", Pruitt's letter to President Trump reads.

Mr. Pruitt blamed his departure on "unrelenting attacks on me personally".

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Pruitt's departure follows months of negative news reports on his unusually high travel and security expenses, including a $43,000 private phone booth. This differs from Pruitt, who drew attention not only for his aggressive moves to cut back regulations but also for mounting scandals and questions about potential ethics violations. "Thank you again, Mr. President, for the honor of serving you and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to".

As of June, Pruitt was the subject of at least 14 federal investigations, according to The Guardian.

Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma attorney general, a role in which he repeatedly sued the EPA. The two men bonded over their shared paranoia, regularly grousing about the "deep state" and former aides who they thought collaborated to upend their agenda, according to White House officials familiar with the meetings who spoke to the Post. Before Trump nominated him to become deputy EPA administrator last fall, Wheeler was a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, where his best-paying client was the coal mining company Murray Energy.

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

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While Pruitt arrived in Washington as part of President Trump's promised wave of outsiders hoping to shake up the Capital, Wheeler has spent years navigating the intricacies of environmental policy.

Pruitt's tenure at the EPA was rocky from the start.

On Thursday afternoon, Trump tweeted that he had accepted Pruitt's resignation. But Hart was later forced to admit he had met with Pruitt at EPA headquarters last summer after his firm, Williams & Jensen, revealed he had lobbied the agency on a required federal disclosure form.

Criticism in the press and animosity from environmental groups are likely not enough to derail Pruitt's political career, said Oklahoma GOP consultant Trebor Worthen. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was sacked a year ago after it was disclosed he took costly charter flights instead of commercial planes.

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Scott Pruitt has resigned as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, following a series of scandals in how he used the perks of his position for personal gain.

Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA head; successor a coal mining insider