Who Is New EPA Leader Andrew Wheeler?


"The EPA will now be led by an interim chief, Andrew Wheeler, who was a coal industry lobbyist before he was confirmed as Pruitt's deputy in April".

President Donald Trump says he has accepted the resignation of scandal-plagued Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Many Democratic lawmakers and even some fellow Republicans had called for Pruitt's resignation.

Inhofe, who previously served as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has publicly delegitimized the EPA on more than one occasion."We are going to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that is brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren't true, allegations", the senator said on CNN's "New Day" previous year. It's still unclear. What we do know: His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, holds views similar to Pruitt's.

Pruitt marks the third Cabinet official in Trump's administration to resign over ethics complaints.

Activists have argued those cuts have endangered the environment. "He made swamp creatures blush with his shameless excesses". All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry.

"We see Mr. Wheeler as fitting a very typical pattern of behavior", said Chris Saeger, of the Western Values Project.

But now an ex-Inhofe staffer is taking the reins as Pruitt leaves under a cloud of controversies.

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But this less flashy style is unlikely to endear him to environmental groups that had been critical of Pruitt. Wheeler then went to work as a lobbyist for top coal companies and other businesses and interests.

Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat from California:"Just because Scott Pruitt resigned doesn't mean we've forgotten about the taxpayer funds he's misused or the damage he's done to our environment". It's this notoriety and insider savvy that could make Wheeler unsafe; unlike Pruitt, who was relatively new to Washington when he took the job leading the EPA, Wheeler could continue to work closely with old friends.

Kara Cook, director of a toxics program at the environmental group US PIRG, said Pruitt's strategy was "to restrict the usefulness of the EPA to the benefit of industry". He also says he believes that his "inalienable" right to own a gun comes directly from God. "The politics will pass but the policy will remain", he said.

"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.

Wheeler, for his part, insisted that he is not interested in running the EPA in an interview with the Washington Examiner in June. That included the roughly 20 members of a security detail Pruitt's EPA had created to guard him around the clock.

In the end, it wasn't "religious sterility", that brought him down.

- OIL AND GAS: More than a dozen states are suing the EPA for failing to take action against leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, from oil and natural gas wells. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, for example, called Pruitt "about as swampy as you can get". "Every decision made will be put against the backdrop of one's Christian faith".

Pruitt was also under fire for frequent first-class air travel and for purchasing costly items for his office, including a soundproof telephone booth. Pruitt's travel records showed the USA government spent United States dollars 17,000 in taxpayer money on the trip to promote U.S. exports of "liquefied natural gas", which is not part of the EPA's jurisdiction. The Washington Post reported that a longtime Pruitt friend and lobbyist helped arrange the trip and later registered as a foreign agent representing Morocco. "We're going to follow the law that Congress has given us".