Published: Tue, July 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Democrats seek probe of EPA's Pruitt meeting records

Democrats seek probe of EPA's Pruitt meeting records

Chalmers told CNN their proposal to the EPA is in its early stages, and in a statement said, "We offer the EPA an established, low-priced option to move material off the Navajo Nation, recycle it into fuel for carbon-free nuclear energy, and dispose of the remnants in existing state-of-the-art facilities".

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the departure of his environment chief who faced ever-growing scandals over his spending and conduct in office. However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us. "I look forward to working hard alongside all of you", Wheeler wrote agency employees.

Pruitt was also among the Trump Cabinet officials who reportedly took charter flights and booked first-class tickets on the taxpayer dime.

The senator was also a supporter of Pruitt, according to the Times, and Wheeler's rise demonstrates the growing influence of a group of former Inhofe staff members across the Trump administration and Washington including Ryan Jackson, who is now the EPA's chief of staff.

Pruitt also tried to help his wife land a job that would pay her more than $200,000 annually. Ana Unruh Cohen, managing director for government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Coral Davenport, "Like Pruitt, this veteran coal lobby lobbyist has shown only disdain for the EPA's vital mission to protect Americans' health and our environment".

However, Kevin Chmielewski, who left earlier as Pruitt's deputy chief of staff, said agents in Pruitt's 20-member security detail and others linked to the ex-EPA head are fearful for their jobs. "This is the follow-up stories, the people's lives he's affected, going down to the agents and everyone else".

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Former senior EPA water official Elizabeth Southerland said the agency's career scientists are expressing relief at the end to the ethics scandals.

"The reports that have come out are something that the president is concerned about, and there are many of those reports", White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said Tuesday, according to a Politico report.

Democrats and environmental advocacy groups cheered the departure of Pruitt, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry who has often questioned mainstream climate change science. Wheeler then went to work as a lobbyist for top coal companies and other businesses and interests.

Speaking to Jim Sciutto on "The Lead with Jake Tapper", the independent Vermont senator said he is "vigorously opposed" to Wheeler as Pruitt's replacement.

Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia SummitScott Pruitt has resigned as head of the EPA.

The clearest indication of business as usual comes from Trump's own tweet announcing Wheeler's appointment as acting Administrator of EPA: "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda". The government had launched numerous investigations on Pruitt, although he continued to insist that he had done nothing wrong. It's this notoriety and insider savvy that could make Wheeler risky; unlike Pruitt, who was relatively new to Washington when he took the job leading the EPA, Wheeler could continue to work closely with old friends.

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