A former coal lobbyist is the new leader of the EPA

"As for Mr. Andrew Wheeler, I have not had any contact with Mr. Wheeler since he became Deputy Administrator of the U.S. EPA and, as such, we are unable to provide any further comment".

Meanwhile, activists argued Mr Pruitt's policies of moving to boost fossil fuel production and rollback regulations opposed by corporate interests had endangered the environment.

As a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, Wheeler represented Murray Energy, the self-billed "largest coal mining company in America". The president said Pruitt's deputy, Andrew Wheeler, will now lead the agency.

Although Pruitt has always been known for his high-profile appearances dating back to his successful run for Oklahoma attorney general, reports paint Wheeler as a quieter political actor. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., author of the book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future and who NRDC calls "without question the most virulent climate denier on Capitol Hill".

"Given Pruitt's complete failure to protect our clean air and water, and with 13 open federal investigations into his work, the only question is why this took so long".

Pruitt, whose tenure as head of the organization was plagued by numerous scandals, officially stepped down from his role Thursday, according to a tweet from President Donald Trump.

Until now, Trump had stood by Pruitt - a zealous lieutenant who strongly defended his decision to quit the Paris climate accords - praising his work to roll back Obama-era environmental regulations that the president says hinder economic growth. Wheeler said Trump "hasn't been that successful" in his business endeavors and had "more baggage then all of the other Republican candidates combined". James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Noah Bookbinder released what has to be one of the shortest statements ever in reaction to Scott Pruitt's resignation from the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday.

The damage to the environment made under Pruitt's watch "will be felt for generations", McKinny added.

Like President Trump, Wheeler is active on Twitter, although he has not tweeted since the news of his appointment was announced.

Pruitt told David Brody of CBN News in February when it comes to natural resources like natural gas, oil and coal he does not believe "we should keep those things in the ground, put up fences and be about prohibition". The Washington Post reported that a longtime Pruitt friend and lobbyist helped arrange the trip and later registered as a foreign agent representing Morocco.

"Under my ethics agreement with the Agency, I will have no involvement with EFI for two years", he said in the statement offered by the agency.

He had also ordered his EPA staff to do personal chores for him, picking up dry cleaning and trying to obtain a used Trump hotel mattress for his apartment.

Pruitt enlisted EPA staff to find his wife a job paying upwards of $200,000 a year.

Wheeler's and others' lobbying efforts worked: Late previous year, President Donald Trump traveled to Utah to officially announce the reduction of Bears Ears.

During congressional testimony in April, Pruitt was unapologetic for the controversies, often blaming his staff for any agency missteps.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

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