Bernie Sanders: Pruitt was 'the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency'

Bernie Sanders: Pruitt was 'the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBoogeywomen — GOP vilifies big-name female Dems RealClearPolitics editor: Moderate Democrats are losing even when they win Sanders tests his brand in Florida MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday celebrated Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Court orders EPA to enforce chemical safety rule | Dem says Zinke would 'sell' his grandkids for the oil industry | EPA reportedly poised to unveil climate rule replacement Court throws out EPA delay of Obama chemical plant safety rule The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) MORE's resignation as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, calling him “the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency.”

“Not only has he acted, time and time again, in an unethical manner, but he has led the agency in exactly the wrong direction,” Sanders said in a statement.

Pruitt announced his resignation following a slew of alleged ethics violations over the past year, which have prompted more than a dozen federal investigations.

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Sanders and Pruitt have sparred publicly before. At Pruitt’s confirmation hearing last year, Sanders dug into Pruitt over his denial of human-caused climate change.

“Do you believe that climate change is caused by the carbon emissions by human activity?” Sanders said.

Pruitt replied that human activity has caused climate change “in some manner” but cast doubt on the extent to which this is the case.

Sanders later said, in an interview with CNN, it is “pathetic” that Pruitt doubts carbon dioxide is a “primary contributor” to climate change.

Sanders doubled down on his criticism of Pruitt’s positions on climate change in his statement following news of Pruitt’s resignation on Thursday.

“Instead of protecting our environment and combating climate change, he has worked to protect the interests of the fossil fuel industry and polluters all over the country,” Sanders said.

“His resignation is a positive step forward for our country. I will do everything possible to see that the next EPA administrator actually believes in environmental protection.”

The deputy administrator of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler, who also supports undoing environmental regulations, will take over for Pruitt following his resignation.