Scott Pruitt is finally out as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt distinguished himself by repeatedly suing the agency he was later tapped to lead, in an effort to prevent the EPA from doing its job of protecting “human health and the environment”; ensuring “that Americans have clean air, land and water”; and doing so “based on the best available scientific information.”
Instead Pruitt spent his time in office undoing environmental decisions made during the Obama years and replacing scientists on EPA advisory committees with representatives from industries the agency is supposed to be regulating.
This is what President Donald Trump has called “a great job,” so it’s clear that policy wasn’t what got Pruitt replaced; more likely it was his conduct. Pruitt built a $43,000 soundproof phone booth; made grandiose and excessive demands for personal security and first-class treatment at all times; accepted a sweetheart deal on a Washington condo rental from a lobbyist; sought a connection to secure a chicken franchise for his wife.
Some of this was downright strange and all of it was unacceptable.
The environmental damage Pruitt has done, and would have continued to do if he’d stayed in the job, trumps the impact of the cartoonish demands he made for personal perks.
Scott Pruitt won’t be missed — except, perhaps, by those who wish the EPA had never been created (in 1970, under a Republican president) in the first place.
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