President Trump on Thursday nominated Andrew R. Wheeler, a coal lobbyist with links to outspoken deniers of established science on climate change, to help lead the Environmental Protection Agency.
In announcing Mr. Wheeler, a former aide to Senator James M. Inhofe, to be deputy administrator of the agency, the White House tapped an experienced legislative hand reviled by environmental activists but hailed by industry as having the know-how to dismantle Obama-era fossil fuel regulations.
The nomination comes at a critical moment for the E.P.A. as the agency prepares to repeal a sweeping climate change regulation known as the Clean Power Plan.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island who has made climate change one of his signature issues, said in a statement that Mr. Wheeler’s work for Murray Energy should disqualify him from the position.
“In Andrew Wheeler, the President has tapped yet another fossil fuel industry lobbyist to help in the capture of the Environmental Protection Agency for big polluters,” he said. “He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the office to which he’s been nominated, but here we are.”
(Excerpted from New York Times 10/5/17)