July 6, 2018

Scott Pruitt’s Lasting Legacy

A litany of minor ethical missteps by the EPA chief finally forced his resignation.

On Thursday afternoon, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt finally tendered his resignation due to an endless stream of ethics complaints. He noted that the “unrelenting attacks on me personally” and on his family had “taken a sizable toll on us all.” And that is a fact beyond dispute.

From the moment Pruitt was nominated for the position of EPA chief he faced an onslaught of unrelenting attacks from the Left. Outside of Trump himself, no one in his administration was more despised and more of a political target than was Pruitt. He came into the most hallowed of leftist agencies preaching Trump’s deregulation message, and he quickly got to work acting on it. Pruitt’s mission was to roll back the abusive regulatory overreach from an agency that Barack Obama had used as a battering ram against Americans’ individual property rights and business development. But one does not do such things to the sacred agency of the environment without a vicious counterattack.

Unfortunately, Pruitt was not prepared for the laser-focused Leftmedia scrutiny that was designed not to merely report on his leadership but to exploit any ethically questionable misstep, no matter how insignificant, as a means of seeing him removed. And Pruitt certainly made his share of missteps, albeit few of which in and of themselves proved truly scandalous. Instead, it was more a case of death by a thousand paper cuts.

However, an overall review of Pruitt’s short tenure at the EPA reveals a legacy that conservatives should look upon positively. Pruitt worked to tame one of the biggest swamp creatures of the Obama-era, and he did so successfully. We hope his successor will have comparable results while avoiding needless self-inflicted wounds.


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