EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid ethics scandals

EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid ethics scandals”

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt survived months of reports on his unethical behavior by lavishing praise on President Donald Trump and making himself a visible figure in the West Wing, The Washington Post reported Thursday evening. For months he had ranked as a personal confidant and influential policy adviser to the president, commiserating with Trump over negative stories and indiscreet aides while praising the commander-in-chief for his intelligence and political acumen. He said he hadn't had any contact with Wheeler since he took the EPA job, and called Pruitt's departure "unfortunate for America".

Flooded Thai farmers support rescue effort: With more rain coming, Thai rescuers are racing to pump out water from a flooded cave before they can extract 12 boys and their soccer coach with minimum risk.

"It's one thing after another with this guy", a confidante quoted Trump as saying.

If Pruitt's actions were not enough, his fawning letter of resignation made it perfectly clear that serving the American public was never his priority. Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration. "His extensive experience has benefited our clients and we wish him well as he returns to government", said Dave Zook, FaegreBD Consulting chair and leader of the firm's Washington, D.C. office, in a statement after Wheeler left for the EPA in April.

An early June disclosure that a top EPA aide helped Pruitt try to buy a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel was particularly embarrassing to the president, one of the people said. Trump writes on Twitter, "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job".

After Pruitt's resignation, all eyes are on Wheeler.

Pruitt previously served as Oklahoma attorney general, a role in which he repeatedly sued the EPA. In addition, some environmental groups have opposed Pruitt for his rollback of Obama-era EPA policies he deemed counterproductive for businesses. One of the reported scandals concerned the cost of Pruitt's security detail, which was protecting him from activists and protesters.

Barrasso will manage the confirmation hearing for Pruitt's successor, as long as Trump nominates a replacement before the end of the year.

EFI's activities - and Wheeler's connections to the company - worry environmentalists, who aren't thrilled to see a former energy lobbyist take over as the nation's new top environmental cop.

The attacks Pruitt is responding to include calls to investigate his administration for various ethics violations and unprecedented taxpayer spending for office furniture and other unneeded items. Trump probably believes that because Pruitt has been doing Trump's bidding in subverting the EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment. "I believe that man has an impact on the climate", he said, "but what's not completely understood is what the impact is".

Although Pruitt was spotted at the White House's Fourth of July festivities, Trump tweeted that he had "accepted" Pruitt's resignation and was installing former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the agency.

Travel records showed the United States government spent $17,000 in taxpayer money on a December trip to Morocco to promote USA exports of liquefied natural gas, which is not part of the EPA's jurisdiction.

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