Bernie Sanders: Pruitt's replacement is just as bad on the environment

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to President Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt directly appealed to President Donald Trump this spring to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and let him run the Department of Justice instead

Speaking to Jim Sciutto on "The Lead with Jake Tapper", the independent Vermont senator said he is "vigorously opposed" to Wheeler as Pruitt's replacement.

Activists have argued those cuts have endangered the environment.

Wheeler also had a number of other high-profile clients in the energy sector, according to the Washington Post, and many of these companies have an interest in the regulations Wheeler will now make decisions about as acting head of the EPA.

The senator praised Wheeler a year ago when he was nominated to the EPA deputy administrator post, saying, "there is no one more qualified than Andrew to help Scott Pruitt restore EPA to its proper size and scope".

Inspector General's Office on Thursday to immediately launch an investigation into whether agency chief Scott Pruitt violated the Federal Records Act.

The calls for the IG to examine Pruitt come two days after an exclusive CNN investigation featuring a former top aide who alleged that the administrator and his staffers held routine meetings to "scrub", alter or remove controversial events from his calendar. Pruitt proposed previous year to repeal a key climate-change regulation of President Barack Obama's administration, which aimed to reduce emissions of carbon-trapping gases from coal-fired power plants.

Mustafa Santiago Ali, the former head of the Environmental Justice program at the EPA, said those policy changes were so unsafe that he chose to quit after working at the agency for 24 years.

A former aide to Pruitt questioned his alleged practice of deleting meetings from his public calendar retroactively and claimed she was sacked for questioning this practice, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Like Pruitt, Wheeler is a conservative who will seek to roll back rules governing clean air and water and fighting against climate change.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency", Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon, while praising Pruitt's work.

For Republicans annoyed at Pruitt's laundry list of scandals but eager to continue his legacy of undoing Obama-era environmental regulations, Andrew Wheeler is more than acceptable.

"Directly following the 2016 election, I voluntarily stopped any advocacy activity with EPA under the anticipation that I might be considered for a position at the Agency", Wheeler added.

"He will be less political and more straightforward in his approach to the job, which is better for the Trump administration agenda in the long run".

Pruitt told David Brody of CBN News in February when it comes to natural resources like natural gas, oil and coal he does not believe "we should keep those things in the ground, put up fences and be about prohibition". Pruitt said his staff never told him the cost.

Some of the ethics accusations involved jobs for Pruitt's wife.

He also tasked members of his staff with personal assignments, including finding him another apartment, getting his tickets to sporting events and trying to help his wife find a job.

A source close to Trump said the controversy over the search for a used Trump International Hotel mattress was the last straw for Trump with Pruitt because it involved the Trump Organization.

During congressional testimony in April, Mr Pruitt was unapologetic, often blaming his staff for any agency missteps.