A former coal lobbyist is the new leader of the EPA

Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt

Former Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt

"I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda". Now he will be at a very high-ranking position at the EPA, where he will be in a position to make lots of decisions that could benefit his former clients.

Since 2009, Andrew Wheeler - who was announced as the acting leader of the EPA after Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday - has lobbied for at least 17 companies, including Energy Fuels International, the largest supplier of uranium in the US.

Rocked by reported scandals over his tenure, Pruitt - formerly attorney general of Oklahoma - was sworn in as 14th administrator of the EPA in February 2017.

Pruitt had become a constant source of embarrassment to a president who had entered Washington promising to "Drain the Swamp".

On the other hand, Ana Unruh Cohen, managing director for government affairs at NRDC, claims that Wheeler is "equally unqualified [as Pruitt] to serve as the nation's chief environmental steward". In June, he told the Washington Examiner that he liked his current job and did not want to run the EPA.

"Under my ethics agreement with the Agency, I will have no involvement with EFI for two years", he said in the statement offered by the agency.

Widespread disgust for Pruitt "should serve as a blaring red siren for the Trump administration", Udall said. It's still unclear. What we do know: His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, holds views similar to Pruitt's.

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The Sierra Club, a longtime advocate of Pruitt's leaving his post at the EPA, says it garnered more than 100,000 comments pushing for Pruitt to be axed. He accompanied Murray CEO Bob Murray during a series of closed-door meetings to lobby the Trump administration to kill environmental regulations affecting coal mines.

The list of regulations opens with a letter addressed to Vice Pres. Mike Pence that states: "Enclosed is an Action Plan for the Administration of President Donald J. Trump, which will help in getting America's coal miners back to work".

Touting Wheeler as "the ideal choice to serve as acting administrator", Inhofe notes that the two worked together for 14 years.

Before he joined Faegre Baker Daniels in 2009, Wheeler spent 14 years as a staffer for Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma who infamously brought a snowball onto the Senate floor in an effort to illustrate his point that there is no unprecedented climate change.

"Scott Pruitt has failed in the EPA mission to protect human health and the environment, and Americans are less safe today than they should be, due to his poor decisions and leadership", Cook-Schultz said.

The senator was also a supporter of Pruitt, according to the Times, and Wheeler's rise demonstrates the growing influence of a group of former Inhofe staff members across the Trump administration and Washington including Ryan Jackson, who is now the EPA's chief of staff. All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry.

"Hi, I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment and our country", she begins addressing Pruitt in the video, before blasting him for not believing in climate change and his unquestionable affinity towards the deregulation of environmental protections.

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