Sci-tech

So Long, Scott Pruitt. We Knew You All Too Well

So Long, Scott Pruitt. We Knew You All Too Well

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt survived months of reports on his unethical behavior by lavishing praise on President Donald Trump and making himself a visible figure in the West Wing, The Washington Post reported Thursday evening.

"Then, of course, you know, I saw who he's appointed as the interim, and that's reality for us", she said of Pruitt's replacement, his deputy at the EPA Andrew Wheeler.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an excellent job", Trump tweeted "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", he added. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright", Trump wrote.

Before Wheeler took on the post as Pruitt's second-in-command, he was a principle consultant for FaegreBD Consulting. The main difference between the two, say conservation groups, is Wheeler will likely be more effective than Pruitt in dismantling EPA safeguards.

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

"I don't think there was any question of effectiveness of Scott Pruitt, and I think Andrew [Wheeler] will be in the same lane", Dempsey said. An Ohio native, Wheeler served as a special assistant in the EPA's Pollution Prevention and Toxics office in the early 1990s before moving over to the Senate environment panel, where he eventually became GOP staff director under Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and James Inhofe (R-OK) - who voted to approve his nomination in February.

Pruitt has been embroiled in controversy throughout his short tenure as EPA chief.

He was a major player in the president's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, he ended President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan and aggressively cut government red tape.

During his confirmation hearing to be the EPA's deputy administrator, Wheeler was overshadowed by another Trump nominee, Kathleen Hartnett White - Wheeler's nomination was therefore under less scrutiny. "Andrew worked for me for 14 years, has an impeccable reputation and has the experience to be a strong leader at the EPA", Inhofe said.

But even with the bad publicity, Pruitt, 50, has widely been considered a potential candidate for either governor or U.S. Senate. The article repeats similar refrains: Wheeler is a carbon copy of Pruitt, just with more Washington connections.

"Pruitt's legal and ethical failures have overshadowed the Trump administration's reckless assault on human health and the environment", Pallone said. Wheeler also represented Underwriters Laboratories, which does testing and certification for the EPA among other organizations; Xcel Energy; and Insurance Auto Auctions, a salvaged vehicle company, according to his financial disclosure form. Many questioned the ethics of him renting an apartment in Washington, D.C., from the wife of an energy lobbyist and traveling frequently to his home state of Oklahoma on the taxpayers' dime.

Now that Pruitt officially announced he was stepping down from the EPA Thursday, green groups that have fought so long to stop him say his resignation will bring a whole new set of challenges.


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