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A former Oklahoma attorney general reported to have close ties to fossil fuel industries, Pruitt had become the focus of multiple investigations in recent months, including by his own agency's inspector general, two other independent federal agencies and by Congress itself.

Like President Trump, Wheeler is active on Twitter, although he has not tweeted since the news of his appointment was announced. "But we will absolutely keep up the pressure", Edwards said Monday in an interview with ThinkProgress. He weakened rules that kept polluters in check - many of which are being challenged in court - and tried to jettison others like the Clean Power Plan.

Murray Energy's CEO, Robert Murray, has been a loyal supporter of Trump.

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.

The duration of Wheeler's tenure at the EPA is uncertain.

And that really raised questions, especially as, over time, it emerged that the husband of this lobbyist who was the chairman of the law firm Williams & Jensen had repeatedly contacted the EPA on official business, raising questions about conflict of interest.

As for the next EPA head, Trump has named the agency's deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler, as acting administrator.

Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!"

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Euroskeptic Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone said party activists felt "betrayed" by the government plan. Davis said of Mays approach: "It seems to me we are giving too much away too easily".

"Even if Wheeler ends up recusing himself from specific EPA decisions, his record as a lobbyist suggests his views might not differ much from those of President Trump".

The Senate confirmed Wheeler as the agency's deputy administrator in April. It is extremely hard for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring. "There are assumptions made that because the climate is warming that necessarily is a bad thing".

Environmental groups predict the Trump administration will continue its pattern of appointing the least likely candidate to head the agency.

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.

"Like Pruitt, this veteran coal lobbyist has shown only disdain for the EPA's vital mission to protect Americans' health and our environment", Cohen says in a statement.

Before Wheeler took on the post as Pruitt's second-in-command, he was a principle consultant for FaegreBD Consulting.

He's not an outsider - the Union of Concerned Scientists fears him more than it did Pruitt because his experience from having worked at the agency makes him "a formidable opponent with intimate knowledge of the agency's programs and regulations". "The independent and experienced leader cared deeply about the future of the agency and restored its effectiveness".

"He was clearly unfit for the position of public trust that he was in as administrator of the EPA", said Spaulding.


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