Scott Pruitt resigns as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

Scott Pruitt administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, listens during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington D.C. U.S. on Wednesday

On Thursday, however, Trump said Pruitt himself had concluded the EPA chief's ethics scandals were too much of a distraction and was stepping down. In 2015, he joined a multi-state lawsuit against the EPA in an ongoing effort to block the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which calls for reducing carbon emissions from the USA power sector 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!"

"Administrator Pruitt always welcomes input from Americans", Lincoln Ferguson, an EPA Spokesman, told ABC News in a statement. Wheeler is now listed as a consulting principal at global law firm Faegre Baker Daniels, and he has lobbied for Whirlpool, Sargento, and a number of other chemical and big oil interests, according to records compiled by ProPublica. In a letter addressed to Donald Trump, Pruitt cited "unrelenting" and "unprecedented" attacks on him and his family.

Asked by Sciutto how Democrats would block Wheeler should he go through the confirmation process, Sanders said they will need to "get a handful of Republican senators ... and get them on board to demand that Trump appoint an EPA administrator who represents the American people and not just the fossil fuel industry".

Senior White House advisor Stephen Miller has also been confronted by protesters, including being called a "fascist" while dining at a Mexican restaurant and, most recently, facing a crowd of demonstrators outside his home in D.C. who gathered to denounce the zero immigration policy, USA Today reported.

Wheeler was photographed in a meeting with Murray's owner, along with Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, in the last few days of March 2017.

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

Some EPA staffers linked to Pruitt's tumultuous 17-month tenure feared for their jobs Friday, former top staffers under Pruitt said.

Wheeler is not someone who has sought the spotlight.

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As a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, Wheeler represented Murray Energy, the self-billed "largest coal mining company in America".

In a guest op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel from January 2017, when Trump first appointed Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Putnam wrote Pruitt "has the experience, understanding of the law and courage to get this out-of-control federal agency back on track".

Andrew Wheeler, the EPA's current deputy administrator, will take over as the organisation's acting head on Monday, Mr Trump said.

Unsurprisingly, other environmental advocacy groups are also applauding Pruitt's departure.

"Under my ethics agreement with the Agency, I will have no involvement with EFI for two years", he said in the statement offered by the agency.

The EPA confirmed to The Times that through the end of next year, the agency will not enforce a previous cap on manufacturers making "glider trucks", and hopes to permanently repeal the cap. "And we implore him to honor the bipartisan history of environmentalism from Republicans Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon through modern administrations by nominating a true protector of the environment - so that his children and grandchildren, as well as ours, can inherit an Earth worth inheriting". "The independent and experienced leader cared deeply about the future of the agency and restored its effectiveness".

"We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment".

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