The scandals that sunk Scott Pruitt

by   –  Center for Responsive Politics

After a flurry of controversial scandals over the past few months, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday from the EPA.

President Trump said on Twitter that he had accepted Pruitt’s resignation and reiterated that his EPA appointee had done an “outstanding job” and was thankful for his service. Pruitt was one of the more aggressive and outwardly ambitious administrators at the EPA. During his time as attorney general of Oklahoma, he sued the EPA more than a dozen times and said he wanted to shrink the agencyand limit its authority significantly if he could.

Pruitt’s exit came after a series of alleged ethical and political lapses, including his renting a Capitol Hill condominium tied to a lobbyist whose firm’s clients had business before the EPA, spending millions of dollars a year on round-the-clock security and travel, giving oil and gas producers in Utah an exemption from pollution standards and trying to use his influence to get his wife her own Chick-fil-A franchise. Some of his more unusual scandals were attempting to procure a used mattress for a discounted price from the Trump Hotel in Washington and ordering his aides to run around town searching for fancy lotion from the Ritz Carlton.


His tenure at the EPA was focused on turning back much of the environmental efforts of previous administrations. Pruitt supported the repeal of significant environmental regulations such as the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule, which were created during President Obama’s tenure.

Besides attempting to repeal major regulations related to air and water quality, he succeeded in lowering the emission standards for certain hazardous air pollutants and certain emissions.

His successor Andrew Wheeler is a former coal industry lobbyist who previously worked as a legislative aide to Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe. Wheeler’s first job out of law school was at the EPA, where he worked on toxic chemical, pollution prevention, and right-to-know issues in the mid-1990s. Wheeler was confirmed deputy EPA administrator in April.

Here is a non-comprehensive list of Pruitt’s scandals, summarized:

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