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You are here News Environment Trump’s Climate-Denying Coal Lobbyist Nominee Inches Closer To EPA’s No. 2 Job

Trump’s Climate-Denying Coal Lobbyist Nominee Inches Closer To EPA’s No. 2 Job

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Wheeler, climate denier, inching closer to EPA #2 job

Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Environmental Protection Agency deputy administrator, appeared poised and polished at his Senate confirmation hearing in November.

He couched his objections to widely accepted climate science in ambiguous legalese, and kept his cool when, at the same hearing, Kathleen Hartnett-White, the president’s pick for the Council on Environmental Quality, flamed out, stammering over questions of basic science.

On Saturday, the White House announced plans to pull Hartnett-White’s nomination amid waning Republican support. But Wheeler is inching closer to the EPA’s No. 2 job, and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to advance his nomination in a vote on Wednesday.

The restraint that steeled Wheeler’s nomination seems likely to clear the way for his confirmation. Unlike other Trump nominees whose outrageous opinions or lack of qualifications put them on the political fringe, Wheeler boasts both the Beltway aesthetic and the experience needed to become a powerful EPA operator. His confirmation, critics fear, will speed the Trump administration’s rollback of environmental and public health protections, and make a lasting, if quieter, impact.

“It’s very alarming and distressing,” Mary Anne Hitt, a campaign director at the Sierra Club, told HuffPost. “He is right up there with the list of the most extreme people that Trump has nominated for any agency.”

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