Trump to nominate ex-coal lobbyist to head environment agency

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 19, 2018

Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist who has led the Environmental Protection Agency since his scandal-plagued predecessor resigned earlier this year, got President Donald Trump's nod Friday for the permanent job.

Trump announced his plans for Wheeler nearly in passing Friday at a White House ceremony for Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees.

"Acting administrator who I will tell you is going to be made permanent. He's done a fantastic job and I want to congratulate him, EPA Andrew Wheeler, great job", Trump said, seemingly in passing.

Environmentalists were quick to criticize the announced appointment. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a fervent denier of man-made climate change, and then for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Wheeler made clear from the start that he intends to carry out numerous regulatory rollbacks set in motion under Pruitt, and to pursue new ones. Now that it appears we will have the chance to vet his nomination fully, senators from both sides of the aisle must evaluate his record at EPA, where he has continued to implement this administration's devastating environmental agenda, as well as his previous career as a fossil fuel lobbyist and his handling of potential conflicts of interest. The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. "Whether or not he's confirmed by the Senate to be the next administrator, when Wheeler's time at EPA ends, more children will have been exposed to risky pollutants". Environmental groups condemned the announcement. This means Wheeler will face a Senate confirmation, likely involving lots of questions from Democrats about Trump's environmental policy and Wheeler's industry connections, especially his work for coal magnate Robert Murray, who aggressively lobbied the incoming Trump administration to scrap or relax rules on greenhouse gas emissions and mine safety.

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