LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Chief Scott Pruitt is drawing mixed responses from Nebraska's political, agricultural and environmental leaders.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he'd accepted Pruitt's resignation, the Lincoln Journal Star reported . Andrew Wheeler was named as Pruitt's replacement.

Pruitt helped decrease red tape that had previously harmed Nebraska farms and businesses, Gov. Pete Ricketts said in a statement.

Pruitt also allowed Nebraska agriculture groups to give input on many issues and regulations, said Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.

But farmer Guy Mills Jr. criticized Pruitt's decisions that led to a decrease in the demand for corn. Corn growers and ethanol manufacturers say Pruitt's willingness to give petroleum refineries exemptions from blending ethanol into fuel hurt the market.

"The result of his resignation will be a step forward in increasing ethanol usage, increasing corn demand and helping the consumer with lower prices at the pump," Mills said. "Part of the Big Oil market share will be replaced with cheaper, homegrown fuel."

The Nebraska Sierra Club is among the environmental groups that welcomed the resignation.

David Corbin, chairman of the organization's Nebraska chapter, said regulations meant to protect the environment, such as the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, were damaged under Pruitt's time at the EPA. Corbin said Pruitt's replacement, who is a former coal industry lobbyist, doesn't make him optimistic for the future of the agency.

"We need to keep dealing with this at a local level, since it's not happening at the federal level," he said.

___

Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com