Trump picks troubled Bush-era lawyer to head EPA’s air program

Second time’s the charm? President Trump has nominated Bill Wehrum, a corporate attorney representing coal, oil, gas and chemical firms, to lead the Air and Radiation Office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The post will be familiar to him. For two years during the George W. Bush administration, Wehrum served as the acting head of that office. Bush appointed him for the permanent position in 2006 but withdrew Wehrum’s nomination after it became clear the Senate would not confirm him. Why? Wehrum had played a key role in the Bush EPA’s many violations of the Clean Air Act. At the time, The New York Times editorialized that Whehrum served as a “doctrinal hit man” in the agency’s efforts to weaken the country’s air quality laws. While such a friend to polluters would fit right in at Scott Pruitt’s EPA, the Senate should once again show Wehrum the door.

Related Content