New leader at EPA is former coal lobbyist, Senate staffer

Published 5:31 pm Thursday, July 5, 2018

By Matthew Daly

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The new leader of the Environmental Protection Agency is a former coal industry lobbyist who helped lead an industry fight against regulations that protect Americans’ health and address climate change.

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Andrew Wheeler, the No. 2 official at EPA, will take over as acting administrator Monday now that embattled administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned.

The Senate confirmed Wheeler as the agency’s deputy administrator in April.

President Donald Trump tweeted he has “no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. … The future of the EPA is very bright!”

Republicans say Wheeler is well-qualified to lead the EPA, having worked at the agency early in his career. He also was a top aide at the Senate Environment Committee before becoming a lobbyist.