Senators grill EPA nominee
by Kent Covington
Posted 1/17/19, 11:54 am
Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, answered questions about the government’s response to climate change in his confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Wheeler has led the department as acting administrator since July.
Committee Democrats decried the Trump administration’s continued rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., criticized Wheeler for not mentioning climate change in his opening remarks and asked, “Do you agree that climate change is a global crisis?” Wheeler responded that he “would not call it the greatest crisis. … I consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally.” Democrats also suggested Wheeler’s lobbying work for a coal company before joining the EPA disqualified him from leading the agency. Republicans came to Wheeler’s defense, saying he responsibly balanced protecting the environment with not unduly hurting industry. If confirmed, Wheeler will officially replace former Administrator Scott Pruitt, who resigned last year amid multiple controversies.
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