Key Trump ally Scott Pruitt forced to resign

Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid scandals

That process could take several months - and potentially drag out past this November's midterm elections. Pruitt is a public official who absolutely should be held accountable for his conduct; no sympathy is warranted. "The acting administrator doesn't have the same authority as the administrator, but they can do an very bad lot".

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

New York's attorney general's office has also battled Pruitt's EPA in court, winning a suit similar to the Adirondack Council's on the same day. Similar to how many on the Left mourned Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, environmental agencies and liberal commentators took to Twitter to express their dread of the new administrator of the EPA.

"I could have put my hat in the ring for the administrator". When he started looking into Trump's policies, Wheeler said, "I was fully on board". "I am still not interested in that".

Wheeler has spent more than two decades in Washington.

During his time as a congressional staffer, Wheeler worked as a senior aide to Republican Sen. 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.

While Pruitt was a Washington novice, Wheeler is a consummate inside-the-beltway lobbyist who has served many companies that are subject - and sometimes resistant - to EPA regulation.

After leaving Congress, worked for years as a lobbyist for some of the largest coal, chemical and uranium companies in the US - including the uranium mining firm that pushed for the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument, which is near one of its processing facilities.

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With a past life as an energy industry lobbyist, Wheeler is not an environmentalist, to say the least.

In a letter sent to EPA employees obtained by BuzzFeed News, Wheeler said he looks forward to working toward the "collective goal of protecting public health and the environment on behalf of the American people".

That background made his confirmation process for deputy EPA administrator contentious.

Despite his conservative background and his likely continuance of Trump's EPA agenda, Wheeler has previously criticized the President.

"I've known Andy a long time", he adds. "He knows how DC works, and he does things by the book".

And Wheeler has presented himself as a consensus builder: "I will turn to the career staff and ask their advice and listen to them", he told the EPW committee during a confirmation hearing last fall for EPA deputy.

In a tweet announcing Pruitt's resignation, President Donald Trump made his own expectations clear when he praised the work Pruitt had done at the EPA and announced Wheeler as his replacement. The Times reported that Wheeler spoke out against Trump in a since-deleted Facebook post on February 29, 2016.

"One down", tweeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), "dozens more to go until we've drained the swamp of the Trump Admin's toxic culture and corruption".

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