Credo Action

Tell the Senate: Block and resist Andrew Wheeler for EPA administrator

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The petition to the Senate reads:

"Do not confirm a coal lobbyist as EPA administrator. Block and resist Andrew Wheeler's appointment to the EPA."

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    Tell the Senate: Block and resist Andrew Wheeler for EPA administrator

    Andrew Wheeler wants to convince us that he is a more moderate, ethical EPA leader than his predecessor Scott Pruitt. Don't be fooled.

    Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist who rejects climate science and tweets racist and extremist right-wing content. In his short time as acting EPA administrator, he has reversed key environmental protections with lethal efficiency. He is anything but moderate.

    Now Trump has nominated Wheeler as permanent EPA administrator. As the Senate considers his confirmation, we need to make sure that our senators know where we stand. Putting a coal lobbyist in charge of environment protection is completely unacceptable.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist the confirmation of coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as EPA administrator.

    Far from his carefully cultivated image as the "grown-up" version of Scott Pruitt, Wheeler lives in the fact-free, conspiracy-filled world of the extreme far right.

    His social media record is telling – and disturbing. In 2013, Wheeler "liked" a racist Facebook post dehumanizing Pres. and First Lady Obama.1 After Twitter banned alt-right troll Milo Yiannopolous for encouraging fans to harass comedian Leslie Jones, Wheeler shared an Infowars video defending him.2 Just this year, he retweeted a Pizzagate conspiracy theorist.3

    Wheeler's relationship to reality is just as tenuous when it comes to science. Wheeler tweeted links promoting climate change denial in 2009, 2011 and 2015.4 He is a former adviser to notoriously anti-science Sen. James Inhofe, who once brought a snowball to the Senate to disprove climate change.

    As the acting EPA administrator, Wheeler has been just as destructive as Pruitt. He is working to roll back fuel efficiency standards and put more brain-damaging mercury in the environment.5 He put the head of the Office of Children's Health Protection on administrative leave without cause and removed mentions of climate change from the EPA's website.6

    Like Pruitt, Wheeler has shown that partisanship and career ambition are more important to him than avoiding ethical conflicts of interest. When Trump first nominated Wheeler as deputy EPA administrator, Wheeler hosted fundraisers for Republican senators on the committee responsible for advancing his nomination.7

    Even with a Republican-controlled Senate, public pressure has forced Trump to withdraw some of his most controversial nominees.8 Other Trump officials resigned after news broke about their own past racist statements.9 With enough pressure on the Senate, we can block Wheeler's confirmation.

    Tell the Senate: Block and resist the confirmation of coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as EPA administrator.

    References:

    1. Alexander C. Kaufman, "EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler Engaged With Racist, Conspiratorial Posts On Social Media," HuffPost, Oct. 9, 2018.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Lisa Hymas, "What you need to know about EPA nominee Andrew Wheeler and the media," Media Matters for America, Nov. 19, 2018.
    5. Olivia Rosane, "Trump Wants Coal-Friendly Wheeler to Run the EPA Permanently," EcoWatch, Nov. 19, 2018.
    6. Ibid.
    7. Lee Fang and Nick Surgey, "Coal Lobbyist Hosted Fundraisers For Senators Evaluating His Nomination For Top EPA Post," The Intercept, Feb. 7, 2018.
    8. Jennifer Hansler, "Almost a dozen Trump nominees have withdrawn from consideration for administration jobs," CNN, Oct. 17, 2017.
    9. Kaufman, "EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler Engaged With Racist, Conspiratorial Posts On Social Media."