What to know about Andrew Wheeler, who President Trump just nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency

Andrew Wheeler

President Donald Trump just nominated former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to officially lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Scott Pruitt resigned as head of the EPA in July 2018, after months of ethics scandals.
Since then, Wheeler has served as acting administrator.
Wheeler has already proposed rollbacks of rules that protect water and air from contamination.

President Donald Trump wants Andrew Wheeler to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the arm of the federal government tasked with protecting human health and the environment across the US.

Wheeler has been acting administrator of the EPA since Scott Pruitt resigned from his post as the agency’s head in July 2018, following months of ethical and financial scandals. Now President Trump wants to make Wheeler’s position official.

On Wednesday, 19 days into a government shutdown, the White House sent Wheeler’s nomination for the position, along with five other nominee names, to the Senate for review.

“I am honored and grateful that President Trump has nominated me to lead the Environmental Protection Agency,” Wheeler said in a statement on Wednesday.

“For me, there is no greater responsibility than protecting human health and the environment, and I look forward to carrying out this essential task on behalf of the American public.”

Since he started as acting administrator, Wheeler’s EPA has proposed allowing more mercury to be emitted into US air, and sought to undo decades-old protections for wetlands and streams that help maintain the quality of our water supply.

“He was very much an early Trump supporter,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One when he appointed Wheeler temporarily in July. “He was with us on the campaign. He is a very environmental person. He’s a big believer, and he’s going to do a fantastic job.”

Others aren’t convinced.

“In almost seven months as acting administrator, he has led efforts to weaken or eliminate meaningful limits on the largest sources of climate pollution, including smokestacks, tailpipes, and oil and gas facilities,” Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp said of Wheeler in a statement. “His policies will lead to dirtier air and water and unchecked climate pollution.”

Wheeler’s path to the EPA

Before Wheeler took over, Pruitt had also sought to delay and roll back environmental regulations. When he resigned, Trump tweeted that the former administrator had done an “outstanding” job.

But …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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