EPA interim chief lobbied for company seeking EPA contracts

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt walks during an Independence Day picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who chairs the Senate environment panel, said that during Pruitt's tenure, the EPA "has rolled back punishing regulations that were hurting American workers and stifling our economy".

Andrew Wheeler, who began his first official day as acting EPA administrator on Monday, has worked nearly his entire career in Washington.

James Inhofe (R-OK), one of the most anti-environment members in Congress, who did not cut many deals with Democrats.

As acting EPA head, "Andrew Wheeler is well prepared to continue the progress already made under President Trump", Barrasso added. His designated successor, Andrew Wheeler, is at least as firmly tied to the carbon-based energy industry as Pruitt.

EPA Administrator Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency on Capitol Hill in Washington Thomson Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Democratic lawmakers asked the EPA's inspector general on Thursday to investigate new allegations that Administrator Scott Pruitt falsified his official schedule to hide or remove records of meetings or discussions with industry representatives.

Time magazine provided four things to know about Wheeler.

Mr Pruitt also was instrumental previous year in lobbying Mr Trump to withdraw the United States from the global 2015 Paris climate accord to combat global warming.

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.

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

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Few EPA administrators' views differ much from the president who appointed them.

Pruitt not only was the "worst head of the agency in its 48-year history", NBC quoted the Environmental Working Group as saying, but he also "will forever be associated with extraordinary ethical corruption and the abuse of power for petty personal enrichments".

Republicans say Wheeler is well-qualified to lead the EPA, having worked at the agency early in his career.

After Pruitt's resignation, all eyes are on Wheeler.

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. Wheeler acknowledged he attended but said he couldn't remember any details.

Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has been a loyal supporter of Trump.

"He was clearly unfit for the position of public trust that he was in as administrator of the EPA", said Spaulding.

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". "As a coal lobbyist, getting a bailout for the coal industry will likely be one of his top priorities at the EPA", Edwards said.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday that he had accepted Pruitt's resignation, and that Wheeler would take over the agency on Monday.

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