Scott Pruitt resigns as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt walks during an Independence Day picnic for military families on the South Lawn of the White House

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. Just a few hours before the announcement the EPA had released a draft rule on coal plants to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

Pruitt's tenure at the EPA was rocky from the start.

Pruitt was also accused of having "repeatedly enlisted subordinates to help him search for housing, book personal travel and even help search for a six-figure job for his wife", the Post reported.

Wheeler worked for Oklahoma Sen. The latter's career traces back to the EPA, where he worked in its Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics in Pres. George H.W. Bush's administration.

Other notable departures include former national security advisers Michael Flynn and HR McMaster, ex-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, communications director Anthony Scaramucci, press secretary Sean Spicer and economic adviser Gary Cohn. Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who, in an interview with CNN previous year in March, accused the EPA of "brainwashing" American children.

Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has been a loyal supporter of Trump.

U.S. Representatives Don Beyer and Ted Lieu cited remarks by Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff, in an interview with CNN about how Pruitt held routine meetings to "scrub, alter or remove from Pruitt's official calendar numerous records because they might 'look bad'".

On Thursday, Trump tweeted praise of Wheeler, saying that he has "no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda". The recommendations include a 50 percent cut to the EPA staff, and USA withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement-which Trump already initiated.

Before Wheeler took on the post as Pruitt's second-in-command, he was a principle consultant for FaegreBD Consulting. The company paid Wheeler's firm at least $300,000 each year between 2009 and 2017, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

After Pruitt's resignation, all eyes are on Wheeler.

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