In the end, stroking Trump's ego wasn't enough to save Pruitt, but he used his near-spiritual resignation letter as one last expression of reverence for the President.
"Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this!"
"I'll just say this: I wouldn't lose any sleep if EPA Administrator (Scott) Pruitt would be let go by the president, or resigned", said Young.
Later, Wheeler worked as a lobbyist representing Murray Energy and its CEO Robert Murray, a prominent Trump backer who denies the science of climate change.
"We have in Andrew Wheeler someone who has made a career out of trying to block everything we've done to try to protect our children from the growing dangers of climate change - a person who has made a career out of trying to push back against common sense safeguards to protect the air we breathe from unsafe chemicals like mercury, arsenic and others", says Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council. As head of the EPA, he lobbied Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and make him the replacement. "The EPA should be working with NY - and not against us - to address climate change, protect our water resources and ensure the health of our residents".
In other words, Pruitt was doing exactly what the president wanted.
CNN reports that a senior White House official is saying that Pruitt is "inching forward to the tipping point," and could soon be through as head of the EPA.
After leaving Congress, worked for years as a lobbyist for some of the largest coal, chemical and uranium companies in the USA - including the uranium mining firm that pushed for the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument, which is near one of its processing facilities.
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Wheeler's resume reads like an environmental advocate's nightmare for green groups that push for stronger environmental protection. In a unanimous vote, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission rejected Perry's proposal. Wheeler was responsible for setting up meetings between Murray and Energy Secretary Rick Perry according to the Washington Post. Wheeler also represented Underwriters Laboratories, which does testing and certification for the EPA among other organizations; Xcel Energy; and Insurance Auto Auctions, a salvaged vehicle company, according to his financial disclosure form.
Before he joined Faegre Baker Daniels in 2009, Wheeler spent 14 years as a staffer for Sen.
Inhofe was chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
"Previously, when we did stuff like this, when the person who's the target resigned, we'd usually kind of stop, because you've got your goal", said a former House Oversight Committee staffer.
Wheeler has long questioned the mainstream scientific consensus on climate change. In 2006, while working for the Senate environment committee, Wheeler suggested that the Earth might actually be going through a "cooling phase".
"No matter who leads the EPA, my office will continue to hold the agency accountable", interim Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement. Wheeler was first rumored to be chosen for the EPA in March 2017.
Political observers are expecting Wheeler to be in his new role as acting EPA administrator for an extended period. With a slim 51-49 majority, Republicans will have trouble confirming Pruitt's successor prior to the midterms elections in November.