Scott Pruitt is gone from the Environmental Protection Agency, taking with him the daily dose of scandal that made him a household name.

Now, the real danger begins.

His replacement, a former lobbyist for the coal industry, is not likely to spend wildly on office security and furnishings, not likely to abuse his position for personal aggrandizement or wealth, not likely to be in the headlines.

He will be content to quietly and efficiently undo the work that the EPA has done ever since it was created under President Richard Nixon in 1970.

Nixon did that because he understood that the cleanliness of our air and water were not partisan issues and a majority of Americans, a majority of the two major political parties, understood.

As Time Magazine put it in a retrospective inspired by the Trump administration plans to help the EPA wither away, in 1970 “The evidence was right in front of citizens’ faces. Pollution had gotten bad enough to be undeniable, and science had become advanced enough to make the reasons why clear.”

That’s not what Scott Pruitt believed and it’s not what Andrew Wheeler — appointed as interim director after the president informed Pruitt that he had been fired — believes either.

As Paul Wapner, a professor of global environmental politics at American University in Washington, D.C., explained, those concerned about our environmental policies are about to learn that we no longer have any.

Already the EPA is working to limit efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We already have abandoned the global effort to fight pollution by pulling out of the Paris climate accord.

“You remove those two pieces and basically the U.S. doesn’t have a climate plan,” Wapner said.

And that’s not all the bad news, as he explained.

“It opens the door for other countries now to cut back on their own domestic efforts. This will certainly provide an excuse if another country is looking for it.”

At one time, under a Republican president with bipartisan support, we were the leader in the effort to combat climate change.

No one was more eloquent than Nixon who stressed the importance of taking action in his 1970 State of the Union Address and did not shy away from the costs this would impose:

“Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country. It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans, because they more than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later.

“Clean air, clean water, open spaces — these should once again be the birthright of every American. If we act now, they can be.

“We still think of air as free. But clean air is not free, and neither is clean water. The price tag on pollution control is high. Through our years of past carelessness we incurred a debt to nature, and now that debt is being called.”

Those Republicans of 1970 would not recognize what has happened to their party today.