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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Resigns

07 July 2018

He denied wrongdoing amid multiple inquiries into his conduct. Wheeler is a former energy industry lobbyist who worked on behalf of Murray Energy, owned by Robert Murray, a Trump supporter who donated $300,000 to the president's inauguration.

In announcing his resignation on July 5, Trump said Pruitt had "done an outstanding job" leading the EPA and "will always be thankful to him for this".

In a statement, Friends of the Earth argued that fossil fuel industry insiders like Wheeler "have no business leading the EPA" and vowed to hold him accountable "for his efforts to harm our public health and environment" during his time as acting EPA chief. "As for Mr. Andrew Wheeler, I have not had any contact with Mr. Wheeler since he became Deputy Administrator of the U.S. EPA and, as such, we are unable to provide any further comment".

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Under Andrew Wheeler, the EPA is unlikely to change course.

President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday that EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned may have prompted some to celebrate. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright", Trump wrote.

Political observers are expecting Wheeler to be in his new role as acting EPA administrator for an extended period.

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If Trump nominates Wheeler to lead the agency in a permanent capacity, a Senate vote would be required.

Wheeler is no stranger to the EPA.

Inhofe was chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Before that he worked on Capitol Hill and, like Pruitt, he's a target for liberals who see him as a champion of polluters and climate change deniers. As Oklahoma's former attorney general, he waged a legal fight against the environmental rules implemented by the agency he eventually would head. Though Mr. Wheeler previously served on the EPA's professional staff, he spent years working for Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. And before that, he served in Presidents George H.W. Bush's and Bill Clinton's EPA. Wheeler also represented Underwriters Laboratories, which does testing and certification for the EPA among other organizations; Xcel Energy; and Insurance Auto Auctions, a salvaged vehicle company, according to his financial disclosure form. One of his biggest clients was Murray Energy, which is one of the largest coal companies in the country. He accompanied Murray CEO Bob Murray during a series of closed-door meetings to lobby the Trump administration to kill environmental regulations affecting coal mines. So, who is Andrew Wheeler?

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According to The Post: "The Trump administration appointees described an administrator who sought a salary that topped $200,000 for his wife and accepted help from a subordinate in the job search, requested aid from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington landlord and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel". Three moderate Democrats - Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of IN and Joe Manchin of West Virginia - joined with Republicans to support Wheeler IN April. All three face tough re-elections in states Trump won easily last fall. Sen.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt Resigns