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Finally! 'Victory for People and the Planet' as EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns

"Ethics matter. So does a commitment to the EPA's central mission. Pruitt failed miserably on both counts."

EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

This post may be updated.

The White House announced Thursday that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned, following months of mounting scandals regarding his misuse of taxpayer funds for his lavish travel expenses, the extreme secrecy with which he ran the agency, his treatment of his staff, and other ethics controversies.

"This victory belongs to the hundreds of thousands of activists who fought to protect the EPA from a corrupt crony set on destroying it from the inside." —Erich Pica, Friends of the Earth

While Pruitt's management style and ethics-free behavior frequently threatened to distract from his activities as the nation's top official ostensibly in charge of safeguarding the environment, climate action groups and other green campaigners have repeatedly pointed to his aggressive efforts to undermine the EPA's stated mission while spearheading the Trump administration's overall effort to execute a massive giveaway to the fossil fuel industry and other corporate interests.

Friends of the Earth (FOE) called Pruitt's departure a "victory for people and the planet."

"Scott Pruitt's corruption and coziness with industry lobbyists finally caught up with him," said FOE president Erich Pica. "We're happy that Pruitt can no longer deceive Americans or destroy our environment. This victory belongs to the hundreds of thousands of activists who fought to protect the Environmental Protection Agency from a corrupt crony set on destroying it from the inside...We must work to remove every member of this administration who has abused their power and put polluter profits over people and the planet."

"Ethics matter," concluded Rhea Suh, president of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "So does a commitment to the EPA's central mission. Pruitt failed miserably on both counts."

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, also denounced Pruitt's rolling back of environmental protections aimed at keeping water safe for Americans to drink and air suitable to breathe.

"In an administration that is notorious for its corrupt approach to governing, Scott Pruitt's shamelessly self-enriching antics actually stood out," Hauter said. "Pruitt's systematic attack on the EPA itself, his devotion to polluting industries, and his disdain for American public health and environmental protections made him an unfit leader of the agency. His scandals were just icing on the cake. We say to Scott Pruitt: Good riddance."

"Scott Pruitt will go down in history as a disgrace to the office of EPA administrator," Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group said in a statement, noting that the work of green groups fighting the Trump environmental agenda is far from over. "Sadly, the ideological fervor with which Pruitt pursued the destruction of environmental regulations and the agency itself live on in the Trump administration. So while Pruitt is gone...our resistance to all he stood for will continue undiminished."

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