Former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler is the new EPA head

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt attends a 2018 Hurricane Briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency  headquarters in Washington DC

Scott Pruitt resigns from EPA

"Pruitt created a culture of corruption at EPA that has never been seen before in a federal agency, and for months President Trump idly stood by and allowed him to do further harm".

Following news of Scott Pruitt's resignation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, Dulce Ortiz, co-founder of Clean Power Lake County, said the group is content with Pruitt's departure but isn't backing down in its call for cleaner energy, air and water.

"Within the Agency Scott has done an excellent job", Trump tweeted "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", he added. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he continued on Twitter. Wheeler acknowledged he attended but said he couldn't remember any details.

Trump's unusual "let bygones be bygones" attitude may be due to Wheeler's seeming commitment to an even more aggressively deregulatory tenure than former Administrator Scott Pruitt, and unlikeliness to follow in Pruitt's scandal-swamped footsteps.

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In his appearance before the Senate committee, Wheeler pledged to recuse himself from any EPA decision-making that conflicted with his work for coal companies or other industries.

In 2009, he became a lobbyist for the firm Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting. Trump nominated Wheeler for EPA's number two job on October 5, 2017. We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children.

McKinny said she thinks that statement is outrageous and is bewildered by how long Pruitt was able to lead at the EPA, seemingly unworried that the president would fire him for any one of the offenses he's accused of committing.

But in recent weeks, we have been seeing testimony coming out from EPA officials about how Pruitt used agency staffers to carry out personal favors, including trying to land a lucrative job for his wife. "I wasn't interested in that", he said last month.

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Ken Cook, the president of the Environmental Working Group, said that "Scott Pruitt will go down in history as a disgrace to the office of EPA administrator".

Andrew Wheeler, the new acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should do everything he can "to restore the American people's confidence in the agency's mission, which is the protection of human health and our environment", Delaware Sen.

While Pruitt arrived in Washington as part of President Trump's promised wave of outsiders hoping to shake up the Capital, Wheeler has spent years navigating the intricacies of environmental policy. Wheeler was formerly a lobbyist for Murray Energy Corporation, the largest underground coal mining company in the United States.

"Except when you're dealing with Trump, you're dealing with many issues of enormous consequences".

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"Andrew is one of the most well-known, well-respected policy professionals in Washington on energy and environment-he knows everybody", Matthew Dempsey, a lobbyist who knows Wheeler from Inhofe's office, told the New York Times (paywall).

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