But climate change skeptic Marc Morano, a former Republican political aide who runs the website ClimateDepot.com, said in a statement that “Pruitt will go down as the best EPA chief in history.” He noted that he was “the key man urging Trump to get out of the UN Paris climate pact” and roll back clean air regulations introduced under President Barack Obama.
Other Trump Cabinet members have departed under pressure for ethical lapses. Trump’s first Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin left their posts after front-page stories about their high-ticket travel on the taxpayer dime.
Backed by energy industry
But Pruitt survived an avalanche of such stories, partly because the energy industry and conservative thought leaders saw him as a crusader curbing over-regulation within the agency, even if they privately bemoaned his bad judgment.
“On behalf of CEI, we thank Scott Pruitt for his outstanding service as EPA administrator, and we regret that personal troubles got in the way,” Myron Ebell of the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute lamented in a statement.
“Pruitt was the media target like no other because he has dared to actually reverse the green agenda in D.C.,” Morano charged. He believes the press put Pruitt under a microscope “because his EPA reform agenda is their biggest threat.”