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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) SandersBooker holds 'Get Out the Vote' event in South Carolina as presidential speculation builds The Democratic Donald Trump is coming Biden: Trump administration 'coddles autocrats and dictators' MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday celebrated Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEPA puts science ‘transparency’ rule on back burner Tucker Carlson says he 'can't really' dine out anymore because people keep yelling at him Overnight Energy: Trump administration doubles down on climate skepticism | Suspended EPA health official hits back | Military bases could host coal, gas exports 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.