EDF Opposes the Nomination of Andrew Wheeler to Lead EPA

Policies of Acting Administrator already causing more pollution, serious health consequences

January 9, 2019
Keith Gaby, kgaby@edf.org, (202) 572-3336

(Washington, D.C. – January 9, 2019) President Donald Trump just sent the Senate his nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. In response, Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp released the following statement:

“We evaluate executive appointments with the presumption that every President has a right to name his team unless a nominee would threaten the health and safety of the American people. Unfortunately, Andrew Wheeler’s record puts him in that category.

“Mr. Wheeler’s leadership at EPA would be a continuation of the dangerous approach forged by his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, the first EPA Administrator whose nomination EDF ever opposed. Andrew Wheeler becomes the second. For EDF, such opposition is an extraordinary step. In Mr. Wheeler’s case, as in Mr. Pruitt’s, it is warranted. Our country needs an EPA Administrator guided by science, who respects our environmental laws and values public health.

“As Deputy Administrator since April 2018 and Acting Administrator since July 2018, Mr. Wheeler ignored sound science and attacked the foundation of long-standing environmental protections. 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 — efforts that would yield billions of tons of additional climate pollution.

“Under his leadership, EPA has also attacked Mercury and Air Toxics Standards for coal-fired power plants, which protect children and save thousands of lives every year, according to EPA’s own estimate. Mr. Wheeler has undermined the scientific foundation of important air quality initiatives, has denied states that asked for relief from upwind coal-plant pollution, and is systematically weakening the bipartisan law that protects Americans from toxic chemicals.

“In short, Mr. Wheeler fully embraces President Trump’s anti-environmental agenda. His policies will lead to dirtier air and water and unchecked climate pollution. A majority of Americans of both parties support the vital safeguards that keep our air and water clean. We at EDF will continue working to protect America’s environmental protections because they improve all our lives. To do so, we must oppose Mr. Wheeler’s nomination.”

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