"Before everyone gets excited about Pruitt, remember we're going to get all the same horrific policy under Andrew Wheeler, without any of the comic, attention-drawing personal corruption", Vox environment writer David Roberts tweeted after President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he had accepted Pruitt's resignation.
Steve Milloy, who served on Trump's transition team at the EPA, told Breitbart News that Pruitt did a great job advancing the president's agenda of rolling back unsafe and damaging regulations President Barack Obama put in place, and Wheeler is just as committed as his former boss. "Unlike Pruitt, Wheeler worked for the EPA early in his career and has played key roles in Congressional oversight of the agency and its budget, making him a formidable opponent with intimate knowledge of the agency's programs and regulations", the group said in the April blog post.
"Elevating former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to head the EPA is only trading one fossil fuel friend for another", he said.
"I'm concerned that the Trump administration's assault on human health and the environment will continue long past Pruitt's departure from EPA", Pallone said. "We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" One longtime Pruitt ally Sen.
"However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally [and] my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us", he added.
Mink mentioned several issues surrounding the EPA head, including his reported room-rent deal.
The EPA under Pruitt has come under intense media scrutiny for accusations of ethics violations, including private jet travel, contacts with energy executives, and trying to find his wife a job.
Massachusetts Democrats, who vocally criticized the EPA chief's actions and efforts to reverse Obama-era policies, praised news of Pruitt's resignation.
Pruitt pushed to fill EPA jobs with personnel from the coal, oil, and chemical industries.
It was also freaky given that the first week of Pruitt's planned trip would have been impacted by the shutdown.
Mr Pruitt is the subject of at least a dozen investigations into his conduct. But Wheeler told The Hill newspaper this week that he's not interested in the top EPA job.
Despite the laundry list of ethics complaints putting him on thin ice, Pruitt was invited to and appeared at the White House on Wednesday for Trump's Independence Day celebration, where he and other cabinet members received a shout-out from the president.