After strong grassroots resistance to his radical policies, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned. At the time of his resignation, Pruitt was subject to 13 separate federal investigations into his ethics and conduct, and had accumulated a track record of abuses of power ranging from bizarre to illegal.

To take just a few examples, Pruitt ordered aides to purchase him a used mattress and moisturizers, spent public money lavishly on a bulletproof desk, a 24/7 security detail and first-class plane tickets, and routinely texted with coal industry executives to discuss actions that affect their industry.

He has also ardently pursued President Trump’s policy of impeding and attempting to dismantle the EPA’s regulatory framework, attempting to weaken or eliminate rules ranging from fuel-economy standards for cars to the Obama-era Clean Water Rule. His resignation, after 17 months of corrupt mismanagement, is a victory for the American people.

However, his likely replacement is little better. Andrew Wheeler, deputy EPA administrator and now acting EPA administrator, is a former coal industry lobbyist who concurs absolutely with the Trump administration’s policy of rejecting public health in favor of fossil fuel interests. Wheeler will continue the culture of cronyism and corruption that Pruitt fostered at the EPA.

Within the next few months, Wheeler must face Senate confirmation. It is our responsibility to learn from the ghastly mistake that was Pruitt’s appointment and urge our senators to demand an EPA administrator who prioritizes the people, not polluters.

Sam Matey