- Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit
- After Scott Pruitt resigned as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, a top government watchdog released a simple but effective one-word statement: “Good.”
- Pruitt has faced over a dozen investigations into whether he violated ethics rules as EPA chief.
- Andy Wheeler, the EPA’s deputy head, will assume the role of acting administrator.
After Scott Pruitt resigned as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, a top government watchdog released a simple but effective one-word statement: “Good.”
Pruitt has been mired in scandal for months over his behavior as EPA chief, and there have been widespread calls for him to resign.
The watchdog, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has been especially critical of Pruitt.
Norman Eisen, CREW’s chairman, in May wrote an op-ed article with two other senior members of the watchdog group.
“In any normal administration, Pruitt would be long gone,” they wrote, adding: “There is no appropriate basis for retaining a cabinet secretary who has behaved like Pruitt.”
Our statement on Pruitt's resignation: pic.twitter.com/ysFyAXcURm
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) July 5, 2018
Pruitt has faced over a dozen investigations into whether he violated ethics rules as EPA chief. He has been accused of enlisting government staffers to help his wife get a job managing a franchise of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, and he was criticized for spending exorbitant amounts of money on personal security and regularly taking first-class flights.
Beyond concerns over ethics violations, critics long contended that Pruitt was a dubious choice to head the EPA given his controversial views on climate change. In February, for example, Pruitt suggested that global warming could be good for humans.
“We know humans have most flourished during times of warming trends,” Pruitt said. “There are assumptions made that because the climate is warming that necessarily is a bad thing.”
Announcing Pruitt’s resignation on Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “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 also said Andy Wheeler, the EPA’s deputy head, would assume the role of acting administrator, adding: “I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”