Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks at a news conference with Pasquale

Scott Pruitt resigns from EPA

Green groups expressed the same sentiment in response to Pruitt's resignation on Thursday.

- AGRICULTURE: In March 2017, a month after becoming EPA administrator, Pruitt delayed consideration of banning usage of a widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos, on food crops for at least five years.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley called the mounting ethical questions facing Pruitt "troublesome" and said "these things matter to the president as well, and he's looking into those".

Despite all the controversy that's surrounded Pruitt, Trump's send-off was full of praise, claiming that Pruitt did an "outstanding job" and that he would "always be thankful" to Pruitt for his work. "That was the position he was originally interested in".

In his resignation letter, posted by Fox News, the former Oklahoma attorney general thanked President Trump for his courage and commitment to "historical regulatory reform". Environmental groups expressed dismay when he joined the federal agency, and Pruitt has since sought to roll back various environmental regulations, including Obama-era auto emission standards.

Despite his short tenure, Pruitt is leaving a big mark. Those groups quickly applauded his departure. "His corruption was his downfall, but his pro-polluter policies will have our kids breathing dirtier air long after his many scandals are forgotten". "Somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously, for the benefit of all of us, including our children".

Pruitt tried to reverse efforts to cut emissions from coal plants, kill tougher fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, and suspend stricter rules on runoff from farms - moves that elicited protests and, in several cases, legal challenges by environmentalists and some states.

While Pruitt was a Washington novice, Wheeler is a consummate inside-the-beltway lobbyist who has served many companies that are subject - and sometimes resistant - to EPA regulation.

Before taking the job at the EPA, Wheeler worked as an energy lobbyist on Capitol Hill. 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.

He demanded 24-hour-a-day protection from armed officers, resulting in a swollen 20-member security team that blew through overtime budgets and racked up expenses of more than $3 million.

"Under my ethics agreement with the Agency, I will have no involvement with EFI for two years", he said in the statement offered by the agency.

Top White House advisers have been encouraging Mr Trump to dismiss Mr Pruitt for months, amid mounting allegations of unethical conduct, improper spending and abuses of power.

It was not immediately clear how Pruitt's resignation might affect those ongoing probes.

Pruitt, who has been widely praised by conservatives for his deregulatory agenda, attributed his departure to "unrelenting attacks" against him and his family.

People in Pruitt's home state differed on whether the ethics scandals in Washington left him with any prospects of a political second life in Oklahoma.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, also of Iowa, said Trump "made the right decision". "And I would love to return to that".

McKinny said she thinks that statement is outrageous and is bewildered by how long Pruitt was able to lead at the EPA, seemingly unworried that the president would fire him for any one of the offenses he's accused of committing. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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