The only way to really turn the page on the Pruitt era will be for Trump to appoint an EPA Administrator who is committed to environmental stewardship, and willing to clean house and wrest control of the EPA back from polluters and lobbyists.
Asked if the decision was his own or the EPA chief's, Trump responded, "it was very much up to him".
In a 2005 interview surfaced by Politico, Pruitt complained that "minority religions" were elbowing Christianity out of "the public square" and that evolution was a theory "more from a philosophical standpoint than a scientific standpoint".
"The unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us", Pruitt said in his resignation letter.
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who has known Wheeler for years, told Breitbart News that he is up to the job, especially given his past work at the EPA.
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"[Wheeler] will be similar to Pruitt in terms of the agenda - he understands the Trump administration and will carry out the agenda", Matthew Dempsey, a former colleague of Wheeler's who works with an energy lobbying firm told the Times. All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry.
Pruitt will be replaced by acting administrator Andrew Wheeler. Add Trump Administration as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Trump Administration news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
These are some of the most significant environmental protections Pruitt was in the process of eliminating - and which Wheeler could continue rolling back.
Pruitt has been buffeted by numerous revelations about extravagant spending, including $1,560 for a dozen fountain pens, $3,000 on "tactical pants" and "tactical polos", $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office and $120,000 on a trip to Italy. The president did not mention any of the more than 12 investigations into Pruitt's potential ethics violations.
The departure follows years worth of constant scandal and public outrage for Pruitt's constant profligate spending and insider dealing.
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, called Pruitt "unusually greedy and weird with his corruption". No stranger to the EPA, where he worked for almost two decades, Wheeler has also served as an advisor to Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a fierce critic of climate protection policy. Mink said that when she first approached Pruitt, he "was all smiles", but as their conversation progressed, that smile quickly faded and the former EPA administrator got increasingly defensive and uncomfortable.