EPA head Scott Pruitt is gone, but his mission continues

10 Juillet, 2018, 00:00 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt was accepted by President Trump on Thursday. Pruitt is the subject of multiple ethics investigations

Pruitt enlisted EPA staff to find his wife a job paying upwards of $200,000 a year.

Andrew Wheeler, who began his first official day as acting EPA administrator on Monday, has worked nearly his entire career in Washington.

Scott Pruitt resigned as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, and a top government watchdog released a simple but effective one-word statement on this development: "Good".

Touting Wheeler as "the flawless choice to serve as acting administrator", Inhofe notes that the two worked together for 14 years. He rented an apartment linked to oil industry lobbyists in a pricey neighborhood of the capital for a mere $50 a night, a sum he only paid on nights he actually slept there.

Bernie Sanders on Thursday denounced Andrew Wheeler, who is slated to replace the recently resigned Scott Pruitt as acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr Pruitt also was instrumental past year in lobbying Mr Trump to withdraw the USA from the global 2015 Paris climate accord to combat global warming.

Pruitt attended a July 4 picnic at the White House.

This incident comes as the latest in a series of public confrontations between Trump administration officials and outraged citizens. In 2015, he joined a multi-state lawsuit against the EPA in an ongoing effort to block the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which calls for reducing carbon emissions from the US power sector 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.

"Directly following the 2016 election, I voluntarily stopped any advocacy activity with EPA under the anticipation that I might be considered for a position at the Agency", Wheeler added.

Republicans say Wheeler is well-qualified to lead the EPA, having worked at the agency early in his career.

President Trump has lost another Cabinet member.

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

After Pruitt's resignation, all eyes are on Wheeler.

"We see Mr. Wheeler as fitting a very typical pattern of behavior", said Chris Saeger, of the Western Values Project.

Until his nomination by Trump last fall, Wheeler worked as a lobbyist with a client list that included Murray Energy, one of the nation's largest coal mining companies.

Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has been a loyal supporter of Trump.

"I just don't think there's going to be almost as much press attention, not only in the controversy, but just in terms of the way EPA does its day to day business", Holmstead said.

As EPA chief, he made a number of regulation changes that angered environmental protectionists.

While Wheeler did not lobby the EPA while he was under consideration for a job at the agency, his lobbying firm's colleagues did.

He called Wheeler "an appealing alternative for those hoping to continue to roll back key EPA policies", who has "spent a decade lobbying for just the sort of companies the agency regulates". "As a coal lobbyist, getting a bailout for the coal industry will likely be one of his top priorities at the EPA", Edwards said.

Andrew Wheeler, the man set to take over the Environmental Protection Agency after the departure of Administrator Scott Pruitt, is already receiving media criticism before he begins his job.

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