Former EPA deputy Andrew Wheeler will be the agency's new acting chief as of Monday, and looks set to continue in the vein of Pruitt. He continued in that role through past year 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", Trump wrote.
Mr. Pruitt blamed his departure on "unrelenting attacks on me personally".
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News.
Inhofe, who dismisses global warming as a hoax and famously tossed a snowball on the Senate floor to prove his point, hailed Wheeler's ascension to EPA chief. While Pruitt appeared to be strapped, Wheeler's last job paid a base salary of $741,000, which was augmented by payments from his individual clients.
Trump signaled Thursday afternoon that it wasn't Pruitt's anti-environment views that led to his demise.
"From moving to roll back strong fuel economy standards, to repealing the Clean Power Plan, to undermining chemical regulation, to suppressing climate science, to advocating for USA withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Scott Pruitt made the EPA stand for Every Polluter's Ally", he said in a statement. Pruitt's long list of scandals - from his controversial arrangement renting a Capitol Hill condo from a Washington lobbyist to his use of agency staff to run personal errands - attracted constant media attention that painted the EPA in a negative light. The reason Pruitt persisted so long is the same reason why his environmentalist foes shouldn't break out the organic Champagne: The administrator was doing exactly what his boss wanted.
Pruitt was also under fire for frequent first-class air travel and for purchasing costly items for his office, including a soundproof telephone booth. Pruitt is the seventh person to leave a Cabinet-level post in the Trump administration.
California Democratic Sen. Kamala noted Wheeler's history as "a former coal lobbyist and climate-change denier", adding "The attempt to dismantle the EPA from the inside continues - we must continue to push back against efforts to harm our environment". He had also enlisted his staff to contact conservative groups and companies to find a lucrative job for his unemployed wife, including emails seeking a Chick-fil-A franchise from a senior executive at the fast-food chain.
Kristin Mink, a Maryland teacher, made headlines earlier this week when she confronted Scott Pruitt while holding her two-year-old son in a Washington, D.C. restaruant, urging him to resign. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".