Advertisement

Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA chief, resigns amid multiple controversies

Click to play video 'Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA administrator' Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA administrator
WATCH ABOVE: Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA administrator – Jul 5, 2018

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has resigned, according to a tweet from President Donald Trump.

“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon, while praising Pruitt’s work.

“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”

Pruitt has been embroiled in controversy throughout his tenure as administrator over his expenditures.

He reportedly rented a luxury condo tied to a prominent oil and gas lobbyist for a steal of $50 a night. Pruitt’s daughter, then a White House summer intern, stayed in a second bedroom at the condo at no additional cost.

READ MORE: EPA boss Scott Pruitt had aide inquire about used mattress from Trump hotel, perform personal chores

He also reportedly misused government funds by repeatedly travelling first-class and booking luxury hotel suites. He also is said to have directed his security staff to use lights and sirens to speed through Washington traffic to dinner reservations.

Story continues below advertisement

In fact, he was the subject of multiple congressional and oversight inquiries; he denied wrongdoing in all cases.

As EPA chief, he made a number of regulation changes that angered environmental protectionists.

He signed a proposed rule that restricts the types of scientific studies regulators can use to determine the impact of pesticide and pollution exposure on human health.

He has also rolled back Obama-era regulations such as fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

READ MORE: U.S. EPA chief restricts use of science in studies on impacts of pesticide, pollution exposure

In fact, he has either dismantled or begun the process of dismantling 22 regulations, according to Vox, as part of Trump’s deregulatory agenda.

Story continues below advertisement

Earlier this week he was urged to resign by a woman who confronted him in a restaurant, criticizing his policy and the cuts he’s made to emission standards.

“I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you are doing to the environment and to our country,” Kristin Mink said at a Washington restaurant. “This is my son. He loves animals. He loves clean air. He loves clean water. Meanwhile, you are slashing emissions standards for cars and trucks for the benefit of big corporations.”

READ MORE: Woman, child confront Scott Pruitt at Washington restaurant, ask EPA boss to resign over environment policies

Click to play video 'Woman confronts embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt at a Washington restaurant' Woman confronts embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt at a Washington restaurant
Woman confronts embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt at a Washington restaurant – Jul 3, 2018

Environmentalists applauded his departure.

“Despite his brief tenure, Pruitt was the worst EPA chief in history,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Story continues below advertisement

“His corruption was his downfall, but his pro-polluter policies will have our kids breathing dirtier air long after his many scandals are forgotten.”

Before heading the EPA, he spent years attacking the agency. NPR reports that he sued the agency to stop emissions rules and block regulations on coal plants.

In his resignation letter, which was obtained by Fox News, Pruitt said it was a honour to serve and cited the “transformative work” occuring in Trump’s White House.

Trump said deputy administrator Andrew Wheeler will assume the job as acting chief, saying he will “continue with our great and lasting EPA agenda.”

“We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!” Trump continued, on Twitter.

WATCH: EPA employees and protesters react to EPA chief Pruitt’s resignation

Click to play video 'EPA employees and protesters react to EPA chief Pruitt’s resignation' EPA employees and protesters react to EPA chief Pruitt’s resignation
EPA employees and protesters react to EPA chief Pruitt’s resignation – Jul 5, 2018

The New York Times reports that Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist who, like Pruitt, wants to undo many environmental regulations.

Story continues below advertisement

Like Pruitt, Wheeler has questioned whether or not humans have caused climate change, despite there being scientific proof.

*With a file from the Associated Press