Noah Bookbinder released what has to be one of the shortest statements ever in reaction to Scott Pruitt’s resignation from the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday. The head of the nonprofit watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wasted no time in crowing or re-digesting the many scandals and lawsuits in which Pruitt figured, instead issuing a statement that read quite simply, “Good,” presumably saving his energy for the many battles still to come. The elegantly crafted statement is called “epic” by Business Insider.
It should be said that the group has had no problem in issuing critiques of Pruitt in the past, most recently detailing the reasons why Congress should demand his accountability.
There will, of course, be battles to come; the interim EPA chief, Andrew Wheeler, has previously worked for Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, one of the most notorious climate change deniers in DC. Ana Unruh Cohen, managing director for government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Coral Davenport, “Like Pruitt, this veteran coal lobby lobbyist has shown only disdain for the EPA’s vital mission to protect Americans’ health and our environment.”
Unlike Pruitt, Wheeler is an old DC hand, adept at negotiating tricky situations and dense regulations. Where Pruitt’s somewhat sloppy policymaking means that some of his rulings can be challenged in court, Wheeler is known to be meticulous and may ultimately end up causing even more damage to environmental protection than his predecessor.—Ruth McCambridge and Erin Rubin