EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns, Trump Tweets

White House looking into Scott Pruitt using staff for personal use

White House looking into Scott Pruitt using staff for personal use

Scott Pruitt resigned as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday, blaming "unrelenting attacks" on him and his family in a letter to President Donald Trump.

Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt's recently-Senate confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA.

"Outstanding? Instead of protecting our air and water (Scott Pruitt) gave polluters unprecedented influence and access to the EPA", he said in response to Trump's praise of the outgoing EPA chief. The people he worked with "respect him, and I think that will help move the agenda forward and make sure the accomplishments are long lasting".

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he tweeted.

"Andrew Wheeler's coal credentials are without equal".

Pruitt was a former Oklahoma attorney general who filed a number of lawsuits against the EPA, according to the agency's website.

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The Senate rejected three proposals in February, including one reflecting Trump's hard-line policies and two bipartisan plans. House Speaker Paul Ryan , R-Wis., bought more time for negotiations when he postponed a planned vote on the compromise.

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.

Democrats and environmental advocacy groups cheered the departure of Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry who has often questioned mainstream climate change science.

"There have been too many ethical lapses under Administrator Pruitt's watch and this decision is in the best interests of the agency and our country", she said in a statement. "Sadly, the ideological fervor with which Pruitt pursued the destruction of environmental regulations and the agency itself live on in the Trump administration".

Markey, however, raised concerns about Wheeler taking over the agency. He also demanded 24-hour-a-day protection from armed officers, resulting in a swollen 20-member security detail that blew through overtime budgets and racked up expenses of more than $3 million. All three face tough re-elections in states Trump won easily last fall. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

The senator praised Wheeler a year ago when he was nominated to the EPA deputy administrator post, saying, "there is no one more qualified than Andrew to help Scott Pruitt restore EPA to its proper size and scope".

"It has become increasingly challenging for the EPA to carry out its mission with the administrator under investigation", said Barrasso, who is from Wyoming. 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.

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