Scott Pruitt resigned. Twitter was ready

Jo Lloyd
July 7, 2018

The news arrived via Donald Trump's Twitter account, where he announced that Andrew Wheeler, current deputy of the EPA, will take the reins starting Monday until a permanent successor can be nominated/appointed.

"We have no illusion both about how far Scott Pruitt is from the kind of administrator that we need and also how risky Andrew Wheeler would be", Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, told TIME before Pruitt's resignation.

"Within the agency, Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this", said Trump in a tweet.

"I'm concerned that the Trump administration's assault on human health and the environment will continue long past Pruitt's departure from EPA", Pallone said.

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he tweeted. Many of the EPA regulations Pruitt scraped or delayed had not yet taken effect, and the tens of thousands of lost coal mining jobs the president pledged to bring back never materialized.

That limber sidestep offers small solace to Deans, who is concerned about what the transition from Pruitt to Wheeler spells for the environment.

"Scott Pruitt was as reckless toward the planet as he was toward his own position in government", Cuomo said in a statement.

As the CV may suggest, Wheeler is no stranger to the intricacies of environmental policy or the kinds of tasks that await him at the top of the EPA. John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Inhofe (R-OK) - who voted to approve his nomination in February.

"Wheeler is much smarter and will try to keep his efforts under the radar in implementing Trump's destructive agenda", Jeremy Symons, vice president for political affairs at the Environmental Defense Fund told Politico in May of this year.

Widespread disgust for Pruitt "should serve as a blaring red siren for the Trump administration", Udall said. The article repeats similar refrains: Wheeler is a carbon copy of Pruitt, just with more Washington connections. Coming into office as a critic of EPA and a climate skeptic, Pruitt moved aggressively to scale back Obama-era moves on climate change, automobile pollution standards and other industrial pollutants.

Inhofe, who dismisses global warming as a hoax and famously tossed a snowball on the Senate floor to prove his point, hailed Wheeler's ascension to EPA chief.

Two anonymous officials said that Pruitt's political appointees at the agency are "stonewalling" the report, delaying its release at "every step of the way".

Mr Pruitt's resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office past year. While Pruitt appeared to be strapped, Wheeler's last job paid a base salary of $741,000, which was augmented by payments from his individual clients. It was co-owned by the wife of a veteran fossil fuels lobbyist whose firm had sought regulatory rollbacks from EPA. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

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