Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is out after a tenure marked by ethics scandals and rollbacks of regulations meant to protect the public.
Pruitt was the subject of more than a dozen ethics investigations, the validity of which he has disputed. Recent weeks brought a drumbeat of salacious news, from requests for EPA staffers to assist him on the public’s dime to keeping meetings with industry a secret. President Donald J. Trump announced Pruitt’s resignation Thursday in a series of tweets.
It seems unlikely that Pruitt’s departure will change the policy direction of the agency. Senior EPA officials hired under Pruitt, some of whom are former industry lobbyists, have a history of advocating for many of the same regulatory rollbacks he executed. That includes Andrew Wheeler, now acting head of the EPA. Coal giant Murray Energy Corporation is one of his previous clients.
“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” Trump said in his tweets, adding: “I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda.”