EPA administrator Scott Pruitt resigns

06 Juillet, 2018, 03:31 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned, President Donald Trump announced Thursday, ending a tenure marked by allegations of misconduct. "If that doesn't stop I'm going to be forced to be in a position where I say, 'Scott, you're not doing your job'".

Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, made a name for himself by suing the very agency he would end up leading, urging the EPA to roll back regulations. I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity.... The Washington Post reported Pruitt had aides try to get her a job at the Republican Attorneys General Association with a salary topping $200,000 per year.

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will become the agency's acting chief.

He also oversaw large raises to favorite aides, reportedly against the express wishes of the White House.

Pruitt also rankled some Republican lawmakers, including in Midwest corn states, with his efforts to overhaul a USA policy requiring biofuels like corn-based ethanol in gasoline. In fact, he penned an op-ed in January 2017 in which he lauded the former Oklahoma Attorney General as the flawless man to undo environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

His replacement, a former coal lobbyist who is likely to pursue the same regulatory rollback agenda as Pruitt, may not clean up the EPA's act and instead might find himself involved with "corporate cronyism", said Wegmann.

Pruitt's reputation as a dogged deregulator and outspoken booster of the president allowed him to weather a litany of ethics scandals in recent months, including questions about taxpayer-funded first-class travel, a discounted condo rental from a Washington lobbyist and the installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office.

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Pruitt also endured a series of contentious hearings recently on Capitol Hill, admitting little culpability as lawmakers in both parties grilled him about his ethics and spending decisions.

The Environmental Working Group called Pruitt "unquestionably the worst head of the agency in its 48-year history".

The Senate confirmed Wheeler as deputy in April in a 53-45 vote, with the support of three Democratic senators. But some worry that his promotion may accelerate the Trump administration's determined dismantling of the EPA.

"Pruitt's legal and ethical failures have overshadowed the Trump administration's reckless assault on human health and the environment", Pallone said.

And the ouster of former secretary of state Rex Tillerson in January was preceded by a stream of barbed comments and public slights from the president before he finally sacked the former oil industry executive.

On Tuesday, Mr. Pruittwas confronted at a D.C. restaurant by schoolteacher Kristin Mink, who listed several critiques of his work at the EPA and then asked him to resign.

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