President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is quite literally a lobbyist for the coal industry, having counted Murray Energy as one of his clients.
Andrew R. Wheeler, who has yet to be confirmed by the Senate, has been praised by industry insiders as a good choice for undoing Obama administration initiatives seen as harmful to fossil fuel companies.
“It’s a solid choice,” said Thomas J. Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, a group that promotes fossil fuels and opposes most climate change policy. “Andrew is highly qualified, can work with Congress and understands what needs to be done to articulate President Trump and Administrator Pruitt’s vision of resetting our energy and environmental policies.”
But environmentalists and Democrats are opposed to the appointment for the very same reasons, directing their concerns to both Wheeling's work with the coal industry as well as his stance against the concept of man-made climate change.
“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,” [Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)] said. “He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the office to which he’s been nominated, but here we are.”