David Roberts, a reporter for Vox covering environmental issues, says Pruitt's resignation is "no happy ending" and that the only way there will be one is if someone unseats Trump in 2020. One story accused him of renting a Washington, DC townhouse for $50 a night from an energy industry lobbyist.
Pruitt also endured a series of contentious hearings recently on Capitol Hill, admitting little culpability as lawmakers in both parties grilled him about his ethics and spending decisions. He had also enlisted his staff to contact conservative groups and companies to find a lucrative job for his unemployed wife, including emails seeking a Chick-fil-A franchise from a senior executive at the fast-food chain. "He was with us on the campaign", Trump said. And Pruitt reinforced some of Trump's strongest-held beliefs: that climate change was a hoax, that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not serving him well and that the United States had been ripped off by global trade partners, curent and former officials said. "I believe you are serving as President today because of God's providence", Pruitt wrote.
Pakistan ex-PM Nawaz Sharif given 10-year jail term
Sharif's political opponents hailed the verdict, saying it was the beginning of real "accountability of thieves". Already PML-N has faced mass desertions with some of Nawaz's long-time allies also jumping ship.
The departure marked a precipitous fall for Pruitt, who during his roughly 16 months in office took steps to reverse more than a dozen major Obama-era regulations and overhauled key elements of the agency's approach to scientific research. As of last October, 67 environmental rules appeared to be under threat. Mr. Pruitt was bad for the environment and bad for wildlife.
Under Andrew Wheeler, the EPA is unlikely to change course. He said Wheeler is a lobbyist who went "to bat for the very industries he's now being asked to regulate".
While working as a lobbyist, Wheeler worked, along with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to open part of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument for uranium mining. In addition, he was formerly chief of staff to Sen.
"We have in Andrew Wheeler someone who has made a career out of trying to block everything we've done to try to protect our children from the growing dangers of climate change - a person who has made a career out of trying to push back against common sense safeguards to protect the air we breathe from risky chemicals like mercury, arsenic and others", says Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Wheeler shares numerous Pruitt's policy views and was confirmed as deputy in April with only three Democratic votes. 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. Other names have been floated as possible Pruitt successors, including Donald Van der Vaart, a former environmental official in North Carolina.
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