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UPDATE: Pruitt Resigns As EPA Administrator And Will Be Replaced By Deputy Administrator

President Trump announced Pruitt’s departure on Twitter and wrote he “has done an outstanding job”

President Donald Trump accepted Thursday the resignation of scandal-plagued Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt had become a constant source of embarrassment to a President who had entered Washington promising to “Drain the Swamp.”

Pruitt has faced an array of ethical questions about his travel spending, security costs, dealings with industry lobbyists and misuse of government resources.

He had denied wrongdoing in the face of multiple congressional and oversight inquiries.

Despite the scandals, Trump has been approving of Pruitt’s efforts to reduce regulations that the administration says curb business growth.

The President wrote on Twitter: “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job.” However, activists have argued those cuts have endangered the environment.

Trump said Pruitt resigned on his own accord and there was “no final straw.”

“He came to me and said I have such great confidence in the administration I don’t want to be a distraction,” the President said about Pruitt and added they had been talking about his exit from the EPA for a “little while.”

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will assume the acting administrator position Monday.

Victor Flatt, faculty director of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston’s Law Center, told Houston Public Media he doesn’t foresee any significant changes at the EPA because of Pruitt’s departure that could have repercussions for the Houston region.

“It’s possible that Wheeler may not as aggressive or as quick at certain de-regulatory issues as Pruitt was but, overall, I don’t think the real tenor of the EPA is going to change a lot particularly for Texas or the Houston area,” Flatt said.

Flatt mentioned that a topic that could be interesting for the energy industry is the potential regulation of the release of methane gases from natural gas fracking sites, pipelines and pipeline transfer points. “That’s the biggest thing, I think, that the energy industry will be looking out for in Texas particularly,” the expert noted.

 

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