While the long-overdue departure of ceaselessly corrupt EPA chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday was undoubtedly a small win for the public and the planet, environmentalists were quick to note that "there's no happy ending to this story" as Pruitt is being replaced by former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who worked for years as an aide to fervent climate-denier Sen.
Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will become the agency's acting chief. I have no doubt and complete confidence he will continue the important deregulatory work that Scott Pruitt started while being a good steward of the environment. As head of the EPA, he lobbied Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and make him the replacement. He's been investigated for undertaking expensive, first-class global travel with a large detail, and for spending $43,000 to build a soundproof phone booth in his office.
But he then said, "the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us". Courts also told the EPA that they had to enforce a rule requiring companies to monitor for methane leaks, even if they were reconsidering the regulation.
From a policy perspective, Mr Pruitt was one of Mr Trump's most effective cabinet members.More news: China says 'fully prepared' if trade war kicks off this week
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Despite his conservative background and his likely continuance of Trump's EPA agenda, Wheeler has previously criticized the President.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Policy Conference, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, on June 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. Add Trump Administration as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Trump Administration news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
The incident, aspects of which were first reported in the Hill newspaper, prompted Jackson to leave $600 in cash in Hupp's drawer. Among the allegations against Pruitt are his use of first-class air travel and enlisting EPA staff for personal matters, including getting his wife a job at Chick-fil-A.
He's been accused of misspending taxpayer money in various ways - on travel, security details, pay raises for staff and office extravagances - and of being cozy with the energy executives he's charged with regulating.
Mr Pruitt's resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office past year.
Some of the ethics accusations against Pruitt also involved jobs for his wife.
Michael Mikulka, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, which represents some EPA workers in the Midwest, said Wheeler "has the potential to be just as destructive".