EPA's relief and worries after Scott Pruitt's exit

08 July, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Bridget Leonard
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt attends a 2018 Hurricane Briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency  headquarters in Washington DC

Despite the scandals, Trump has been approving of Pruitt's efforts to reduce regulations that the administration says curb business growth.

"Despite his brief tenure, Pruitt was the worst EPA chief in history", said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "I look forward to working hard alongside all of you", Wheeler wrote agency employees.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the departure of his environment chief, Scott Pruitt, who faced ever-growing scandals over his spending and conduct in office. He instituted unusual and costly round-the-clock protection for himself, flew premium class to Europe and North Africa, and directed agency staffers to help seek housing for his family, high-dollar employment for his wife, and pleasures such as luxury lotion and tickets to top sporting events. Trump publicly defended Pruitt and praised his job performance as recently as early June.

The moment you'd been waiting for arrived on Thursday afternoon when Scott Pruitt, fan of fancy lotions and fossil fuel lobbyists, finally resigned as head of the EPA.

For Carol McKinny, a member of Indivisible Lake County - a group that resists the Trump administration agenda on a number of issues by incentivizing local volunteers - Pruitt's departure is on some level a win for the nation.

The guards were originally trained for investigating environmental crimes. "As we have proven again and again, when the EPA threatens New Yorkers' health and environment, we will take the agency to court - and we will win". Wheeler acknowledged he attended but said he couldn't remember any details. "This is the follow-up stories, the people's lives he's affected, going down to the agents and everyone else".

Friday marked his last official day at the agency. He also once commented that he disagreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's finding that carbon dioxide emissions could negatively impact human health, and accused the group of scientists of functioning more like a political body. In fact, some believe that Wheeler is capable of following Pruitt's itinerary, such as rolling back clean air and water regulations, in a much more calculated manner because he has more experience in Washington DC. James Inhofe of Oklahoma.


That is because the acting administrator of the EPA is now Andrew Wheeler, formerly the agency's second-in-command.

Yet for many critics, who have watched with apprehension as Wheeler ascended the EPA ladder, that kind of experience and approach is beside the point.

His most prominent former client, coal magnate Robert E. Murray, is an aggressive opponent of important air-pollution rules that the Obama EPA tried to impose and that Mr. Pruitt began the process of ripping up.

That particular proposal was shot down by federal regulators, but with Pruitt's help, the Trump administration has made inroads on most of that plan's 16 points, with devastating consequences to the environment-including the United States pullout from the Paris climate accords, the rejection of Obama's Clean Power Plan, and slashing the staff of the EPA down to a level not seen since the 1980s attacks on the agency by President Reagan. They haven't stopped coming.

As for Wheeler, Mink says she is disappointed, but not surprised.

As the CV may suggest, Wheeler is no stranger to the intricacies of environmental policy or the kinds of tasks that await him at the top of the EPA.

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