With a 52–47 vote, the Senate confirmed former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler today as the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Too bad he’s already proven himself unfit for the job. Wheeler took over as acting administrator last July, when his scandal-plagued predecessor, Scott Pruitt, stepped down. Since then, he’s picked up right where Pruitt left off, attacking environmental and public health protections like fuel-efficiency standards and the Clean Water Rule. He’s also done zilch to address our greatest environmental crisis yet—climate change—despite an alarming report from the IPCC (and one from the Pentagon and another one from about a dozen federal agencies) urging us to do so. While Wheeler’s industry pals are celebrating his promotion, we’ll be buckling up to fight his continued rollbacks in court.
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ExplainerUnited States, Washington, D.C.Jeff Turrentine
If Scott Pruitt gets booted from his EPA post, his new deputy, a former coal-industry lobbyist, could take his place.
Like Scott Pruitt before him, the current acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has spent the last six months rolling back environmental and health protections.
Expert BlogAna Unruh Cohen
The EPA needs a leader committed to its mission to safeguard our health and environment.