Woman Who Asked Pruitt to Resign Hopes Confrontation 'Empowers' All

Scott Pruitt resigns from EPA

Scott Pruitt resigns from EPA

Since 2009, Andrew Wheeler - who was announced as the acting leader of the EPA after Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday - has lobbied for at least 17 companies, including Energy Fuels International, the largest supplier of uranium in the US.

Green groups expressed the same sentiment in response to Pruitt's resignation on Thursday. The Washington Post reported that a longtime Pruitt friend and lobbyist helped arrange the trip and later registered as a foreign agent representing Morocco.

Along the way, Pruitt led the charge to rip the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a favorite campaign trail applause line of Trump's, ruining America's credibility on the worldwide stage and turning the country's back on a climate change mitigation agreement signed by every other nation on earth. As Oklahoma's former attorney general, he waged a legal fight against the environmental rules implemented by the agency he eventually would head. Those groups quickly applauded his departure.

Like Trump, Pruitt voiced skepticism about mainstream climate science and was a fierce critic of the Paris climate agreement.

Among other complaints, Pruitt is alleged to have pushed his aides to secure a $200,000 political-fundraising job for his wife; required staffers to perform non-official work; and insisted on traveling first-class or via private jet despite aides' objections. 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.

In the end, Pruitt was driven from office for having abused his position at a level outrageous even for this ethically compromised administration, where nepotism, self-dealing and abuse of office seem to be job requirements.

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

Pruitt went from suing the EPA (14 times) as state attorney general in the Obama years to heading it under Trump.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.




The departure follows years worth of constant scandal and public outrage for Pruitt's constant profligate spending and insider dealing.

Likewise, Pruitt's resignation letter was equally as glowing toward the president.

Ethical charges aside, many Republicans in oil-and-gas dependent Oklahoma are focused more on what they consider his regulation-trimming accomplishments at the EPA, said Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Pam Pollard.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, also of Iowa, said Trump "made the right decision".

In a letter sent to EPA employees obtained by BuzzFeed News, Wheeler said he looks forward to working toward the "collective goal of protecting public health and the environment on behalf of the American people". 'I think Oklahomans still love him, support him and trust him.

"We see Mr. Wheeler as fitting a very typical pattern of behavior", said Chris Saeger, of the Western Values Project.

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

The senator was also a supporter of Pruitt, according to the Times, and Wheeler's rise demonstrates the growing influence of a group of former Inhofe staff members across the Trump administration and Washington including Ryan Jackson, who is now the EPA's chief of staff.

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