EPA

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

Scott Pruitt will no longer lead the Environmental Protection Agency, President Trump announced Thursday afternoon via Twitter.

"I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt," Trump tweeted. "Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this," Trump also wrote.

The EPA & Climate Change Denial

May 22, 2018
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has been trying for over a year to roll back multiple Obama-era policies including the storage of toxic waste produced by power plants. Many of his proposals have been met with litigation and lawsuits that have stalled the process. 

Today, we consider the steps Scott Pruitt has taken to change environmental policy as well as the role climate change denial has in the United States.

If Scott Pruitt arrived on Capitol Hill expecting to be grilled Wednesday, he did not have to wait long to see that expectation fulfilled.

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, led by California, is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its plan to change vehicle efficiency standards. The states are asking a court to review the EPA's proposed actions, arguing that they violate the Clean Air Act.

"We're not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families' health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them," California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has proposed a new rule that restricts scientific research that can be used by the agency for its regulatory decisions.

The proposed rule only allows the use of studies that make all data publicly available for anyone to analyze. Pruitt proposed the new rule as a way to make the agency's decision-making more "transparent, objective and measurable."

A docked boat is reflected in the algae-covered water of Lake Erie's Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio in this Sept. 15, 2017, file photo.
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is asking the General Assembly to expand the power of state regulators over a specific source of water pollution affecting Lake Erie.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

The federal government has played a huge role in reviving the Great Lakes, but some in the region wonder how strong that support is these days.

As allegations mount of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violating ethics policies and misusing taxpayer money, President Trump has repeatedly defended him. "Scott is doing a great job!" he said in one tweet.

Pruitt is one of the administration's most high profile members, and is often lauded as one of its most effective.

"Administrator Pruitt has fearlessly executed President Trump's regulatory reform agenda, there's no doubt about that," says Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

The nation's top environmental official kept busy Wednesday trying to clean up his own reputation, while a White House spokeswoman offered only a tepid defense.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is fending off multiple accusations that he misused taxpayer funds and maintained improper ties to companies regulated by the EPA.

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