Bernie Sanders: Pruitt's replacement is just as bad on the environment

One scandal too many

EPA Administrator Pruitt testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget for the Environmental Protection Agency on Capitol Hill in Washington Thomson Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Democratic lawmakers asked the EPA's inspector general on Thursday to investigate new allegations that Administrator Scott Pruitt falsified his official schedule to hide or remove records of meetings or discussions with industry representatives.

"We need an EPA administrator - and I know this is a radical idea - that actually believes in environmental protection", Sanders said, "rather than just the profits of the oil, gas or coal industry".

There will, of course, be battles to come; the interim EPA chief, Andrew Wheeler, has previously worked for Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, one of the most notorious climate change deniers in DC. This differs from Pruitt, who drew attention not only for his aggressive moves to cut back regulations but also for mounting scandals and questions about potential ethics violations. Wheeler is a career consultant, energy lobbyist and political aid.

Trump said they had been talking about Pruitt's exit for a "little while", adding "He'll go and do great things".

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Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has been a loyal supporter of Trump. He spent about nine years working for the company, where-according to his LinkedIn profile-he helped "lead the firm's practice by advising numerous types of clients on comprehensive legislative, regulatory and operational strategies to best prepare for a carbon-constrained future".

Mr Pruitt's resignation is the latest in a long list of White House departures since Mr Trump took office previous year. He was also once an aide for Sen. The recommendations include a 50 percent cut to the EPA staff, and USA withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement-which Trump already initiated.

Like President Trump, Pruitt voiced skepticism about mainstream climate science.

Mr Trump's long-serving adviser Hope Hicks quit her role as White House communications director in February, while the president's chief strategist Steve Bannon left his post last August. Trump writes on Twitter, "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job". Wheeler said Trump "hasn't been that successful" in his business endeavors and had "more baggage then all of the other Republican candidates combined".

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