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With Pruitt’s Departure, More Than A Quarter of Trump’s Cabinet Has Changed

10 July 2018

She said she could not believe that Pruitt had actually heeded her words, but when she got to know who his successor was at the EPA, she was left disappointed. Wheeler was confirmed as EPA's deputy administrator in April.

Activists have argued those cuts have endangered the environment.

Andrew Wheeler, the new acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should do everything he can "to restore the American people's confidence in the agency's mission, which is the protection of human health and our environment", Delaware Sen.

Wheeler also worked as an energy sector lobbyist, perhaps most notably for Murray Energy Company, one of the nation's largest coal mining companies, according to The Washington Post.

A teacher at Sidwell Friends school confronted Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Monday, telling him to resign, in the most recent of a series of public clashes between D.C. residents and Trump administration officials.

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This latest episode follows on the heels of the harassment or pestering (or worse) of other Trump officials as they tried to enjoy some private time at restaurants with their families and others, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen.

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

As Wheeler prepares to take charge of EPA, the company he once lobbied for is trying to win contracts to clean up abandoned uranium mines, according to EFI's website and its CEO, Mark Chalmers. The group Save the US EPA keeps a roster of endangered programs.

From a policy perspective, Mr Pruitt was one of Mr Trump's most effective cabinet members.

Wheeler is not someone who has sought the spotlight. Republicans and Democrats told the newspaper that Wheeler "has far more energy and environmental policy experience than Pruitt and has shown a willingness to forge compromises with the other party".

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"We see Mr. Wheeler as fitting a very typical pattern of behavior", said Chris Saeger, of the Western Values Project. In the spring of 2017, Wheeler joined his client, Murray Energy chief executive Robert Murray, for a visit with Energy Secretary Rick Perry to discuss Murray's action plan for the Trump administration.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley called the mounting ethical questions facing Pruitt "troublesome" and said "these things matter to the president as well, and he's looking into those".

While Wheeler did not lobby the EPA while he was under consideration for a job at the agency, his lobbying firm's colleagues did. "As a coal lobbyist, getting a bailout for the coal industry will likely be one of his top priorities at the EPA", Edwards said.

Wheeler told the Washington Examiner earlier this year he was focusing on repairing relationships with EPA career staff who bristled at Pruitt's leadership.

Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt's former deputy administrator, an erstwhile Senate aide, and a former coal industry lobbyist, will act as the agency's interim director, President Trump revealed via Twitter.

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With Pruitt’s Departure, More Than A Quarter of Trump’s Cabinet Has Changed