Pruitt is gone. But that doesn’t mean the environment is safer

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"The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA", President Trump tweeted this afternoon.

Frank Pallone Jr., who had demanded EPA head Scott Pruitt's resignation for months, welcomed the administrator's departure Thursday.

"The damage Scott Pruitt has done to the Agency will not easily be undone", he wrote. He continued in that role through a year ago and lobbied the Trump Administration on behalf of Murray Energy even while being considered for the deputy administrator role at the EPA. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!"

The report was authored by the EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a politically independent body of around 35 scientists within the agency.

Until now, Trump had stood by Pruitt - a zealous lieutenant who strongly defended his decision to quit the Paris climate accords - praising his work to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations that the president says hinder economic growth.

Even without a blemish, Pruitt had a target on his back from the start because he threatened the liberal religion of environmentalism.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley called the mounting ethical questions facing Pruitt "troublesome" and said "these things matter to the president as well, and he's looking into those". James Inhofe (R-OK), including as chief counsel for the senator on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee.

Wheeler was only marginally approved as EPA deputy in April.

At the time, the president was feuding with Sessions over the AG's decision to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, according to CNN, which cited three people familiar with Pruitt's pitch. But unlike Pruitt, Wheeler is considered low-key and is a Washington insider who has spent much of his career in the nation's capital.

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Scott Pruitt may turn out to be a seminal case in the study of crisis management: Just how bad does an exec's public image have to get before they finally resign?

While Wheeler may find it hard to accumulate the same number of ridiculous scandals as his predecessor, many pointed to the fact that he hosted fundraisers for GOP senators while they were evaluating his nomination for deputy EPA administrator as clear evidence of his contempt for basic ethical standards.

Pruitt has been embroiled in controversy throughout his short tenure as EPA chief.

The list of accusations leveled against the 50-year-old EPA chief had grown nearly too long to itemize.

As an evangelical Christian, Pruitt approached his job from a biblical worldview.

"He came to me and he said, 'I have such great confidence in the administration".

Read the full report at Fox News. Widespread disgust for Pruitt "should serve as a blaring red siren for the Trump administration", Udall said.

He has been under scrutiny for renting an apartment with ties to a fossil fuels lobbyist.

"It has become increasingly challenging for the EPA to carry out its mission with the administrator under investigation", said Barrasso, who is from Wyoming.