The incredible hubris of Scott Pruitt

The scandal-plagued EPA administrator should have resigned months ago

Scott Pruitt on Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Thursday, after months of ethics scandals, Scott Pruitt resigned as Environmental Protection Agency administrator. The problem with Pruitt wasn't just that he was bad at his job — it's that he was bad in just about every way it's possible for a government official to be bad. He had terrible ideas. He was incompetent. And, worst of all, he was personally corrupt. The fact that he stayed in office long past the point when all the tales of petty grifting should have put him on a bus back to Oklahoma reflects the corruption and incompetence of the administration as a whole. Indeed, the story of Scott Pruitt is the story of the Trump administration in grimy, ugly miniature.

It's rare a Cabinet member comes to office so dead-set against fulfilling the mandate of the agency he or she is supposed to lead. Pruitt never meant to protect the environment. His agenda, since his days as Oklahoma attorney general, has been to undermine, undo, and generally set back the cause of environmental regulation in this country. When weighing the desires of Big Business up against the need to preserve the air and water of this country for future generations to breathe and drink, Pruitt chose in favor of Big Business every time.

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