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Trump sacks scandal-plagued EPA chief

Hurrah! Scott Pruitt has resigned.

It seemingly took forever, but the anti-environment EPA administrator with the incredibly strong sense of personal entitlement who took favors from lobbyists, treated the agency’s budget as a personal bank account, and used federal employees as family servants, finally wore out his welcome with a president who himself is embroiled in scandals and largely impervious to the public interest.

It took so long because Pruitt performed his master’s bidding extremely well by ruthlessly and efficiently destroying America’s environmental protections on behalf of a president who values dirty industries far more than public health or clean air and water.

Pruitt got away with an unending stream of bad publicity until rightwing opinion shapers and Republicans in Congress — perhaps sensing a midterm disaster — turned against him. Pruitt’s canoe flipped over after conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham warned Trump, “Pruitt is the swamp. Drain it.” We can only guess what went through Trump’s mind then, but damage control is a good guess.

Liberals and environmentalists are glad to see Pruitt go, but have no illusions that things will change at EPA. Pruitt’s temporary successor is a former lobbyist for America’s worst coal baron. As for Pruitt, the former Oklahoma state attorney general and congressman now faces an uncertain future. Given that he ripped off taxpayers to the tune of millions, maybe a future Democratic U.S. Attorney could help him figure out what to do with the rest of his life.


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