Farm Bureau Statement on Confirmation of EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

Senate confirms acting EPA chief for permanent role

The U.S. Senate today confirmed Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He filled the post after former administrator Scott Pruitt resigned last July.

Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat, who also voted past year to confirm Wheeler as EPA deputy, voted against him in Wednesday's procedural vote.

And Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper added, "We congratulate Administrator Wheeler on his Senate confirmation".

"Mr. Wheeler knows first-hand the impact EPA policies have on America's economy from his previous work in the private sector and as chief of staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee". Both said they were concerned about Wheeler's record at the EPA, Collins because of his environmental rollbacks, and Manchin because he said Wheeler has not acted fast enough to limit coal-related toxic chemicals being spilled in West Virginia waterways.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled the confirmation vote for Wheeler on Thursday.

Susan Collins argued Wheeler's efforts to roll back standards on emissions blamed for climate change takes the country in the wrong direction. Regulatory proposals to replace the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants, and to revise the 2015 Waters of the USA rule, which sought to safeguard drinking water for millions of Americans, shows that Wheeler "is serious about clear air and clear water while also understanding there's an important role for states and local communities to play", Barrasso said.

And Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute, said Wheeler's "extensive experience" had prepared him to serve as the nation's top environmental official.

Democrats used the vote as an opportunity to call for greater action on climate change, with more than six senators speaking to a almost empty chamber about why the federal government should press for steeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. "I look forward to working with Administrator Wheeler in his new role".

In response, Wheeler, despite admitting he hadn't read the multiagency report, dismissed its findings and threatened to intervene in the drafting of the next National Climate Assessment. Recently he unveiled a toothless "action plan" that fails utterly to address the nationwide crisis of drinking water contaminated with PFAS chemicals, fluorinated compounds linked to cancer, thyroid disease and weakened childhood immunity. "The good news I think from an environmental health perspective is that because they botched the first two years, by the time some of these things are done, we're already getting really close to the end of the Trump administration". "But it's only a matter of time before his dirty dealings land him in the same trash heap as his predecessor".

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