"Pruitt's departure may cost us some jokes", added Public Citizen president Robert Weissman in a statement, "but it won't change the Trump administration or help save the planet or Americans' health".
His successor will be the EPA's current deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler, a less controversial but arguably more risky figure. I have no doubt and complete confidence he will continue the important deregulatory work that Scott Pruitt started while being a good steward of the environment. "However the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us". Courts also told the EPA that they had to enforce a rule requiring companies to monitor for methane leaks, even if they were reconsidering the regulation.
Although Pruitt's exit had always been expected, a member of Pruitt's staff told Newsmax an hour before Trump's tweet that "he's not going anywhere anytime soon".
Despite the laundry list of ethics complaints putting him on thin ice, Pruitt was invited to and appeared at the White House on Wednesday for Trump's Independence Day celebration, where he and other cabinet members received a shout-out from the president. Other allegations of Pruitt's excessive spending and his use of EPA aides to find his wife employment - including an attempt to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise in Tulsa, Okla. - soon piled on and frustrated conservatives.
Pres. Donald Trump announced Thursday on Twitter Pruitt would be resigning from the post, making Wheeler the newest chief of the almost 50-year-old agency. As Pruitt's controversies grew in April, the Union on Concerned Scientists said it would have serious concerns if Wheeler were made EPA administrator.
Despite Pruitt's short tenure, he was able to have a big impact on environmental policy, rolling back protections from former President Barack Obama's tenure.
When we last surveyed the mess of scandals trailing the man in charge of upholding this country's environmental standards, we talked about the millions of taxpayer dollars he spends on a security detail, his sweetheart condo deal, and his $40,000 phone booth.
Ding dong, Scott Pruitt has resigned. Before Trump nominated him to become deputy EPA administrator last fall, Wheeler was a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, where his best-paying client was the coal mining company Murray Energy.
An ethics cloud hung over Pruitt for months, as lawmakers from both parties, environmental groups and government watchdogs raised questions about his spending, housing arrangements, security team and raises for political appointees.