Environmentalists Applaud Pruitt’s Resignation, But Worry About The Future Of The Agency

Jul 5, 2018

Environmental groups in Maine are applauding the resignation of embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt.

President Trump announced Pruitt’s resignation in a tweet Thursday.

Pruitt has been under scrutiny for his travel spending, security costs, dealings with industry lobbyists and alleged misuse of government resources.

He had denied wrongdoing in the face of multiple congressional and oversight inquiries. Trump also announced via Twitter that the EPA's number two official will take over as acting administrator. Andrew Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist. He was confirmed by the Senate as deputy administrator in April.

His background concerns Lisa Pohlmann of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

"I just fear that we will have exactly the same misuse of resources, disregard for the environment and it just won't be the kind of fresh start that people are really calling for,” says Pohlmann.

Pohlmann and other environmentalists are calling on Maine Senators Collins and King to make sure the EPA'S next leader puts the mission of the agency front and center, instead of trying to undo environmental protections.

Pohlmann says Mainers disapproved of Pruitt's rollbacks to protections for air, water and climate.

In a written statement, Environment Maine said it took a "stream of ethical lapses for Scott Pruitt to lose his job, but he never should have had the position in the first place."

Pruitt also had well-established ties with industry.