Trump announces Wheeler as EPA nominee

President Donald Trump announced Friday he plans to nominate the ...

Posted: Nov 17, 2018 7:46 AM
Updated: Nov 17, 2018 7:46 AM

President Donald Trump announced Friday he plans to nominate the acting chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, to permanently lead the agency.

Trump announced the move during a Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House, where he introduced Wheeler along with other top administration officials in attendance.

Andrew Wheeler

Donald Trump

Environment and natural resources

Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental regulation and policy

Government organizations - US

Political Figures - US

Scott Pruitt

US federal departments and agencies

US government independent agencies

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Politics

US federal government

White House

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

Wheeler took over the agency after Trump's first EPA administrator, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, resigned in July under a cloud of scandal.

While Pruitt's approach to the job and ethical controversies drew attention -- including more than a dozen probes -- Wheeler has largely operated under the radar.

A confirmation vote -- required for Wheeler to ascend to the full administrator role -- means a potentially contentious hearing where Democrats can be expected to grill him on the administration's approach to regulating chemicals, emissions and water quality.

"Mr. Wheeler must come before our committee so that members can look at his record as acting administrator objectively to see if any improvements have been made at the agency since he took the helm," Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the committee overseeing EPA.

Wheeler began his career at the EPA during the Bush administration in the Pollution Prevention and Toxics office.

He then worked on energy and environmental issues on Capitol Hill and as an energy lobbyist whose clients included the coal company Murray Energy.

In a speech to employees after Pruitt's resignation, Wheeler said he is proud of his work as a lobbyist, including his work on miner health and pension benefits.

"I think it has been used by some people in a derogatory manner, but I'm actually proud of the work I did," he said.

Environmental groups, however, criticized the announcement.

"Putting a coal lobbyist like Andrew Wheeler in charge of the EPA is like giving a thief the keys to a bank vault," said Michael Brune of the Sierra Club. "As Acting EPA Administrator, Wheeler has kept his door open to coal, gas, oil and toxic chemical corporations, prioritizing their profits over the health and safety of our families."

An EPA spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the announcement.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Albert Lea
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Austin
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 66°
Charles City
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Rochester
Few Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Rain and storms are possible the rest of the week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Osage ranks second in IGHSAU volleyball poll

Image

RCTC draws with Martin Luther

Image

Grand Meadow sweeps Randolph

Image

Making wine in North Iowa

Image

Pastor's e-mail is hacked

Image

DMC takes over Rochester

Image

Weather forecast 9/19

Image

Body Found in Forestville State Park

Image

3D art in One Discovery Square

Image

Flu season coming

Community Events