EPA's new chief is former coal lobbyist, Senate staffer

  • EPA's new chief is former coal lobbyist, Senate staffer

EPA's new chief is former coal lobbyist, Senate staffer

After allegedly overspending on everything from pens to lavish trips and accepting questionable deals from lobbyists, government ethics and watchdog groups say Scott Pruitt's resignation as Environmental Protection Agency administrator is long overdue.

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.

EPA's press office sent out biographical information on Wheeler late Friday, but did not respond to interview requests for him.

Putnam, the state agriculture commissioner, is running against U.S. Rep. To do so, the plan calls for, among other initiatives, phasing out coal plants with clean energy sources such as wind and solar power. He accompanied Murray CEO Bob Murray during a series of closed-door meetings to lobby the Trump administration to kill environmental regulations affecting coal mines. He added that Pruitt will be replaced on Monday by EPA Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Kara Cook-Schultz, director of U.S. PIRG's (Public Interest Research Group) toxics program, thinks the president should take time to really understand the objective of the EPA.

Pruitt is the seventh person to leave a Cabinet-level post in the Trump administration.

Pruitt's tenure at the EPA was rocky from the start. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" "Senators must confirm a nominee who will hold the health and safety of American families in higher regard than the profits of big polluters".

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) expressed concerns about Wheeler in April, calling him an "unabashed climate denier" but someone with "more friends than enemies in Washington". Lawmakers posed tough questions on a range of issues also including raises for top aides and reports of retaliation against EPA whistleblowers.

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

Wheeler worked at FaegreBD Consulting and Faegre Baker Daniels law firm before going to the EPA.

EFI's activities - and Wheeler's connections to the company - worry environmentalists, who aren't thrilled to see a former energy lobbyist take over as the nation's new top environmental cop.

Unsurprisingly, other environmental advocacy groups are also applauding Pruitt's departure. "But we will continue to fight back against whoever is next in line to rip up our environmental protections, and we will continue to win".

Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, suggests that it's time for the EPA to "clean house". "Andrew worked for me for 14 years, has an impeccable reputation and has the experience to be a strong leader at the EPA", Inhofe said. "We deserve to have somebody at the EPA who actually does protect our environment, somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously for the benefit of all of us, including our children", Kirstin Mink told Pruitt as he was having lunch at a downtown restaurant. They include responding to congressional oversight letters in a complete, accurate, and timely manner; implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act and withdrawing a proposal to repeal emissions standards for glider trucks.