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Pruitt's Replacement Will Probably Keep His Deregulation Push Alive

Scott Pruitt's resignation from the EPA means that his deputy, Andrew Wheeler, will temporarily step in to helm the agency.
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Pruitt's Replacement Will Probably Keep His Deregulation Push Alive

Now that Scott Pruitt has stepped down, the job of running the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will temporarily fall to his deputy secretary, Andrew Wheeler.

Wheeler was confirmed as the agency's deputy secretary back in April. While announcing Pruitt's resignation, President Donald Trump said he'd tapped Wheeler to "continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda."

Before joining the EPA, Wheeler spent over 15 years working in Congress, most notably as an aide for climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe. He's been working as a lobbyist since 2009, representing coal firm Murray Energy and electricity giant Xcel Energy, among others.

Wheeler's appointment could help rid the EPA of the intense spotlight it has been under due to Pruitt's scandals. But it's unlikely to result in any significant policy changes: Wheeler's expected to continue Pruitt's drive to slash EPA regulations.

Wheeler is expected to lead the agency until Trump nominates a formal replacement. That person will have to pass a Senate confirmation vote before taking over.