Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
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Bernie Sanders: Pruitt's replacement is just as bad on the environment

Bernie Sanders: Pruitt's replacement is just as bad on the environment

U.S. president Donald Trump on Thursday announced the departure of his environment chief, Scott Pruitt, who faced ever-growing ethics scandals over his spending and conduct in office.

Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general at the time of his EPA appointment, had embraced the perks of office in Washington.

Pruitt had become a constant source of embarrassment to a president who had entered Washington promising to "Drain the Swamp". Wheeler then went to work as a lobbyist for top coal companies and other businesses and interests.

But unlike Pruitt, Wheeler is considered low-key and is a Washington insider who has spent much of his career in the nation's capital.

"It took an endless stream of ethical lapses for Scott Pruitt to lose his job, but he never should have had that position in the first place, nor kept it as long as he did, given his actions to undermine core environmental protections such as clean air and clean water", comments Christy Leavitt, the senior director of Environment America's Campaign to Defend Our Environment, in a statement.

Beyer and Lieu, in their letter to the inspector general, said the allegations were supported by an analysis of Pruitt's public calendars.

"Administrator Pruitt always welcomes input from Americans, whether they agree or disagree with the decisions being made at EPA", Ferguson said in a statement, according to USA Today.

It's not just Wheeler's time in government that concerns environmental advocates.

Despite the laundry list of ethics complaints putting him on thin ice, Pruitt was invited to and appeared at the White House Wednesday for Trump's Independence Day celebration, where he and other cabinet members received a shout-out from the president. The company paid Wheeler's firm at least $300,000 each year between 2009 and 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 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. Wheeler's and others' lobbying efforts worked: Late past year, President Donald Trump traveled to Utah to officially announce the reduction of Bears Ears.

Andrew Wheeler, the new acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should do everything he can "to restore the American people's confidence in the agency's mission, which is the protection of human health and our environment", Delaware Sen.

Wheeler worked for Oklahoma Sen. Lawmakers posed tough questions on a range of issues also including raises for top aides and reports of retaliation against EPA whistleblowers. Somebody who believes in climate change and takes it seriously, for the benefit of all of us, including our children.

"I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", the USA leader tweeted.

Trump said deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler will assume the job as acting chief, saying he will "continue with our great and lasting EPA agenda". All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry.

Wheeler has long questioned the mainstream scientific consensus on climate change. When he started looking into Trump's policies, Wheeler said, "I was fully on board".

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