Environment America statement on the confirmation hearing for EPA Administrator nominee Andrew Wheeler

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON — Today, the Senate held a hearing to consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he has done on an interim basis since July. After Acting Administrator Wheeler testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Environment America’s clean water advocate Bart Johnsen-Harris issued the following statement:

“In his opening statement, Acting Administrator Wheeler touted clean water as his priority—a laudable goal, but at odds with his record to date. Wheeler has overseen vast rollbacks during his tenure atop the EPA, weakening protections for clean water. In recent months, he has worked to drastically roll back clean water protections and weaken standards for toxic mercury emissions. Wheeler’s record is not any better on clean air. He also has endeavored to replace the Clean Power Plan with rules to promote dirty coal.

“While the acting administrator has largely focused on weakening environmental protections, on one occasion he adhered to the core mission of the EPA: he reversed his predecessor’s policy by enforcing the federal air pollution limits for “glider trucks”—semi-trucks reconstructed with old engines, limiting one source of air pollution.

“Our country needs urgent action to safeguard the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the planet we love. Americans deserve an EPA administrator who will fight to protect us and our loved ones. To fit the bill, at a minimum, Andrew Wheeler would need to stop rolling back existing environmental protections.”

 

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Environment America is the national federation of statewide, citizen-based advocacy organizations working for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.