Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency's chief administrator and former Attorney General of Oklahoma, faces increased pressure to give up his position as leader of the federal environmental regulator. Pruitt, who had frequently faced off with the EPA under previous administrators in court over issues such as the Clean Power Plan and other issues related to environmental regulation, is now the target of a campaign to remove him from office.
"Pruitt faces a number of potentially serious complications."
Environmental Leader shared information about a coordinated campaign to sway public sentiment and encourage Pruitt's resignation from the top EPA office. A number of environmental organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, are active participants in the effort, which uses a mix of social media, TV ads and a website to reach a broad audience. The opposition to Pruitt from environmentalists isn't a new development, but the level of organization seen between them, along with the spending needed to launch such a campaign, is.
Perhaps more troubling for Pruitt are an extended scandal related to his use of a rental property linked to an energy lobbyist and calls for him to resign, which have reached across the aisle with the beginnings of Republican support. NBC News reported the EPA's ethics watchdog had originally cleared Pruitt of any potential wrongdoing related to the property. However, it later clarified the scope of the review was limited and didn't include information related to Pruitt's adherence to - or potential failure to follow - the lease's terms. The White House is also conducting an investigation into the issue.
The Hill reported on an expanding movement among legislators to oust Pruitt as well, which recently gained its first two Republican supporters. Two U.S. Representatives from Florida joined a group of Democrats in calling for Pruitt's resignation. The group includes 22 legislators in all.
Additionally, Pruitt's chief aide Samantha Dravis recently resigned from her post, CNN reported. Dravis said leaving the EPA was a decision she had considered for several months, but the timing does little to help an embattled Pruitt find stability.