Embattled Pruitt Out as EPA Chief



Trump tweeted Thursday that EPA deputy Andrew Wheeler would "assume duties as the acting administrator of the EPA". This time, the dubious honor went to Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency head tasked with rolling back numerous regulations established under President Obama. The president said Pruitt's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, will now lead the agency.

Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, made a name for himself by suing the very agency he would end up leading, urging the EPA to roll back regulations. He faced inquiries about installing a $43,000 secure phone booth without informing Congress; spending millions on a 24-hour security detail that was more that triple the size of security details for previous administrators; and spending staggering amounts of money on travel and office upgrades. James Inhofe, one of Washington's most prominent climate change denialists, according to the Post.

In his resignation letter, Pruitt cited "the unrelenting attacks" that were taking a toll on him and his family.

Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who has known Wheeler for years, told Breitbart News that he is up to the job, especially given his past work at the EPA.

Although Pruitt's exit had always been expected, a member of Pruitt's staff told Newsmax an hour before Trump's tweet that "he's not going anywhere anytime soon".

Despite his conservative background and his likely continuance of Trump's EPA agenda, Wheeler has previously criticized the President.

In the latest incident, a mom holding her young child asked EPA Chief Scott Pruitt to resign.

These are some of the most significant environmental protections Pruitt was in the process of eliminating - and which Wheeler could continue rolling back.

Pruitt also is accused of excessive spending on travel, staying at expensive hotels while traveling - even if they exceeded allowable federal spending limits - and telling staff to book flights on Delta Air Lines so he could accrue frequent flier mileage.

Pruitt also maintained incomplete official calendars to hide his...

Mr Pruitt is the subject of at least a dozen investigations into his conduct.

Some of the ethics accusations involved jobs for Pruitt's wife.

In order to become the full (rather than "acting") administrator, Wheeler or another nominee will need to be confirmed by the Senate. The Washington Post reported Pruitt had aides try to get her a job at the Republican Attorneys General Association with a salary topping $200,000 per year.

"I think the most grievous threat that we have today is this imperialistic judiciary, this judicial monarchy that has it wrong on what the First Amendment's about and has an objective to create religious sterility in the public square, which is wholly inconsistent with the Founding Fathers' view", Pruitt warned.

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