Why Trump wants Andrew Wheeler to be the EPA’s permanent chief

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In Wheeler, Trump has seen another fervent supporter of his deregulating agenda and advocates for the fossil fuel industry. Photo credit: REUTERS

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would nominate the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, to take on the position permanently.

Wheeler, a well-known insider from Washington, took the lead in July and took the lead over the EPA after former manager Scott Pruitt resigned. Pruitt was confronted with a lot of ethical controversies, including his first-class trip, 24-hour secure detail and expensive office equipment.

Wheeler did a great job and I want to congratulate him, Trump said when he announced his decision at a ceremony of the White House medal of freedom. He had previously hinted that Wheeler could be nominated.

Trump will have to formally nominate Wheeler and then the US Senate will vote on his confirmation, an expected result, since the room is headed by the Trump Republicans.

In Wheeler, Trump has seen another staunch supporter of his deregulatory agenda and advocated the industry for fossil fuels, but without the constant criticism of alleged mismanagement that plagued Pruitt.

Airbag drainage

Wheeler probably won new friends at car dealers earlier this week when he announced that the EPA would grant exemptions, which would make it easier for dealers to dispose of dangerous airbags – a continuing problem in the industry after the massive recovery of the Takata airbag -inflator.

In the 1990s and later in the senate, Wheeler worked under the Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, a skeptic of regular climate science, before moving to the private sector as a lobbyist and consultant.

He has said that he is not at all ashamed of himself & # 39; about his lobby for the coal company Murray Energy Corp., the focus of criticism from environmentalists.

Wheeler had also lobbied for utility Xcel Energy Inc and consulted for the group Growth Energy of biofuels, producer of agricultural traders and biofuels Archer Daniels Midland Co and International Paper Co., according to his public disclosures.

100 days

He has finished his last EPA job for more than 100 days, one of the longest attempts for a deputy head of the office in decades.

Wheeler has said that EPA, under his leadership, would follow the same course as Pruitt, with priority being given to clearing industrial Superfund sites, areas that are contaminated with hazardous waste and that have been designated by the EPA as a candidate for clearance and that finances investments in water infrastructure.