Pruitt asked Trump to replace Sessions with him

Scott Pruitt resigns after scandal-plagued tenure

Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday from his post as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Earlier this week he was urged to resign by a woman who confronted him in a restaurant, criticizing his policy and the cuts he's made to emission standards. According to the New York Times: "A retroactive deletion of meetings and attendees from a cabinet official's public records could violate the Federal Records Act, which requires agencies to maintain and preserve public documents, as well as a law prohibiting intentional distortion of federal records". A Senate vote would be required if he is nominated to lead the agency permanently.

As Wheeler prepares to take charge of EPA, the company he once lobbied for is trying to win contracts to clean up abandoned uranium mines, according to EFI's website and its CEO, Mark Chalmers. Lawmakers posed tough questions on a range of issues also including raises for top aides and reports of retaliation against EPA whistleblowers. "As a coal lobbyist, getting a bailout for the coal industry will likely be one of his top priorities at the EPA", Edwards said. Edward Markey (D) of MA. James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma and a prominent climate change denier.

Wheeler has spent more than two decades in Washington.

At the time of his resignation, there were more than a dozen inquiries related to Pruitt's conduct by the EPA's Office of Inspector General, the House Oversight Committee, the Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs.

On the policy front, there's no evidence that Wheeler intends to break from Pruitt's pro-industry, anti-environment agenda. And while in the Senate, he worked for Sen.

"Directly following the 2016 election, I voluntarily stopped any advocacy activity with EPA under the anticipation that I might be considered for a position at the Agency", Wheeler added.

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Working on behalf of Murray Energy, the nation's largest privately owned coal company, Wheeler lobbied for the repeal of environmental regulations.

Senators asked Wheeler about the Murray meeting during his confirmation hearing. That included the roughly 20 members of a security detail Pruitt's EPA had created to guard him around the clock.

Markey vowed to fight against Wheeler and said, "The future of our public lands, our waterways and oceans and the very health of the entire planet rest on the continued action of all Americans to take back the EPA from Big Oil and King Coal".

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". "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".

In his first tweet as acting administrator, Wheeler linked to a Wall Street Journal article about him that emphasized his plan to stick with Trump's priorities, including "changing the Clean Power Plan, de-emphasizing climate-change initiatives and improving how the agency deals with polluters and environmental crises".

This story was reported by The Associated Press.

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