As acting EPA head, "Andrew Wheeler is well prepared to continue the progress already made under President Trump", Barrasso added. Trump later told reporters, "Scott Pruitt did an outstanding job inside of the EPA".
Pruitt temporarily will be succeeded by Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for a coal mining company whose employees were President Donald Trump's biggest source of campaign contributions in 2016. He continued in that role through previous year and lobbied the Trump Administration on behalf of Murray Energy even while being considered for the deputy administrator role at the EPA.
In his resignation letter today, Pruitt told Trump that "it is extremely hard 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".
In his resignation letter, Pruitt cited "the unrelenting attacks" that were taking a toll on him and his family. Another staffer smiled and took a picture outside the agency building with a man wearing a papier-mache head created to look like Pruitt, the report says.
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, who chairs the Senate environment panel, said that during Pruitt's tenure, the EPA "has rolled back punishing regulations that were hurting American workers and stifling our economy". Investigators on Capitol Hill had summoned current and former EPA aides for interviews, as part of the more than dozen federal inquiries into Pruitt's spending and management of the agency.
Now, in Wheeler, Murray not only has one of his former lobbyists inside the EPA, he has them running it.
As an evangelical Christian, Pruitt approached his job from a biblical worldview.
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Scott Pruitt did not have many fans among Iowa's congressional delegation when he served as EPA Administrator ... and that remains true following his resignation on Thursday.
At the same time, it's hard to imagine that anyone could possibly be worse than Pruitt, so let's take a moment to celebrate this victory, and then prepare ourselves to keep fighting on behalf of the environment.
For Republicans annoyed at Pruitt's laundry list of scandals but eager to continue his legacy of undoing Obama-era environmental regulations, Andrew Wheeler is more than acceptable.
From a policy perspective, Mr Pruitt was one of Mr Trump's most effective cabinet members.
But despite the consistent praise, Trump finally decided by Thursday morning that Pruitt's behavior was too much of a political burden for him to bear. Republicans say Wheeler is well-qualified to lead the EPA, having worked at the agency early in his career.
"Clear-eyed leadership at EPA could help prevent the carbon bubble we are headed for as fossil fuel reserves end up stranded and potentially trillions of dollars get wiped off energy company books", Whitehouse said in a statement emailed to NPR.
His letter also cited "unrelenting attacks" against him and his family as the reason Pruitt made a decision to resign. "Americans will not tolerate another EPA administrator whose primary goal is to fight the core mission of the EPA".