Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on 27 June 2017. Photo: NBCU News Group, a division of NBCUniversal Media LLC

By Dartunorro Clark
5 July 2018

(NBC News) – Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who has faced mounting public outcry over multiple ethics scandals, has resigned from his position, President Donald Trump announced Thursday.

In a pair of tweets, Trump said that Pruitt had offered his resignation and that the president had accepted.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this," Trump tweeted.

"The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will…....on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA," the president added.

The EPA chief's ouster comes as after an onslaught of reports that raised ethics concerns about his spending and decisions involving his staff and housing arrangements.

As the head of the EPA, Pruitt was Trump's point man for the administration's plan to roll back environmental regulations, many of which were put in place by the Obama administration. He is the fourth member of Trump's original cabinet to depart, following Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

In the year he has served as the Trump administration's top environmental official, Pruitt moved to quash or replace numerous environmental regulations opposed by industry lobbyists while boosting the continued burning of fossil fuels, which scientists have concluded is the primary cause of climate change.

However, his tenure was quickly overshadowed by a number of controversies, which grew to include frequent first class travel and expensive trips at taxpayer expense, a sweetheart deal to rent a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist who had business linked to the EPA, reports of big pay raises for top aides, reports that he sidelined staff who questioned him, and his use of EPA aides for personal tasks. [more]

Embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns amid ethics scandals

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