Scott Pruitt resigns as head of EPA

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What You Need To Know: Scott Pruitt

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he has accepted the resignation of his embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt.

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“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” Trump said in a tweet. He added that Andrew Wheeler, deputy administrator of the EPA, will serve as acting administrator of the agency.

“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda,” Trump wrote. “We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”

Explore>> Who is EPA chief Scott Pruitt and how did he land a top Trump administration post?

In a resignation letter released to media outlets, Pruitt expressed no regret for any actions he had taken since being tapped by Trump to lead EPA last year.

“It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring,” Pruitt wrote. “However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”

Pruitt has faced an array of ethical questions since he took office in February 2017, with critics questioning his travel spending, security costs, dealings with industry lobbyists and misuse of government resources.

He has denied wrongdoing in the face of multiple congressional and oversight inquiries.

Before assuming the Cabinet position with the Trump administration, Pruitt was the attorney general for Oklahoma, a state with a booming oil and gas production sector.

Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times, according to The New York Times, including suits over the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan and over the EPA's efforts at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas drilling. The Times also reported 13 of the lawsuits included co-parties that had donated money to Pruitt or his campaigns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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