As Pruitt's controversies grew in April, the Union on Concerned Scientists said it would have serious concerns if Wheeler were made EPA administrator. This differs from Pruitt, who drew attention not only for his aggressive moves to cut back regulations but also for mounting scandals and questions about potential ethics violations. Ed Markey tweeting: "With Pruitt out and Andrew Wheeler at the helm, the EPA Administrator will no longer be #BigOil's right hand man, it'll be King Coal's best lobbyist".
Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, is often aligned with the oil and gas industry, while Wheeler has focused more on coal since becoming a lobbyist a decade ago. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., author of the book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future and who NRDC calls "without question the most virulent climate denier on Capitol Hill".
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment Subcommittee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on April 26 in Washington, D.C. The focus of almost a dozen federal inquiries into his travel expenses, security practices and other issues, Pruitt testified about his agency's FY2019 budget proposal.
"Not every Republican agrees ... that climate change is a hoax", he said.
Pruitt went from suing the EPA (14 times) as state attorney general in the Obama years to heading it under Trump.
"Scott Pruitt has failed in the EPA mission to protect human health and the environment, and Americans are less safe today than they should be, due to his poor decisions and leadership", Cook-Schultz said.
Wheeler told the Washington Examiner earlier this year he was focusing on repairing relationships with EPA career staff who bristled at Pruitt's leadership.
Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat from California:"Just because Scott Pruitt resigned doesn't mean we've forgotten about the taxpayer funds he's misused or the damage he's done to our environment". But Hart was later forced to admit he had met with Pruitt at EPA headquarters last summer after his firm, Williams & Jensen, revealed he had lobbied the agency on a required federal disclosure form. "So when you're weakening these types of things, you're putting more people's lives at risk", Ali said. The Washington Post reported that a longtime Pruitt friend and lobbyist helped arrange the trip and later registered as a foreign agent representing Morocco. Pruitt said his staff never told him the cost. Emails obtained by the Sierra Club environmental group showed Pruitt had an aide contact the chief executive of a fast-food chain about his wife becoming a franchise owner.
Pruitt also had an employee carry out his personal errands, including researching the purchase of an old mattress from the Trump International Hotel, according to an interview transcript released by congressional Democrats last month.
Mr Pruitt's resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office a year ago.
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