In several ways, Wheeler is a more daunting adversary.
"We have in Andrew Wheeler someone who has made a career out of trying to block everything we've done to try to protect our children from the growing dangers of climate change - a person who has made a career out of trying to push back against common sense safeguards to protect the air we breathe from unsafe chemicals like mercury, arsenic and others", says Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Senators must confirm a nominee who will hold the health and safety of American families in higher regard than the profits of big polluters". The president tweeted that "Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this".
That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6.
"Pruitt's departure may cost us some jokes", added Public Citizen president Robert Weissman in a statement, "but it won't change the Trump administration or help save the planet or Americans' health". "I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda", Trump wrote.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) was Pruitt's mentor and staunch supporter until he could no longer face the endless ethical transgressions of his former protege.
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"Elevating former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to head the EPA is only trading one fossil fuel friend for another", he said.
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"I don't think there was any question of effectiveness of Scott Pruitt, and I think Andrew [Wheeler] will be in the same lane", Dempsey said. "But we will continue to fight back against whoever is next in line to rip up our environmental protections, and we will continue to win". Until his nomination by Trump last fall, Wheeler worked as a lobbyist with a client list that included Murray Energy, one of the nation's largest coal mining companies. In a unanimous vote, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission rejected Perry's proposal.
With a past life as an energy industry lobbyist, Wheeler is not an environmentalist, to say the least. Though Mr. Wheeler previously served on the EPA's professional staff, he spent years working for Sen. Before becoming a principal at the firm Faegre Baker Daniels, Wheeler was chief counsel for the Republicans on the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee.
The conclusion: Wheeler has all of the same environmental positions as Pruitt, but he's much smarter at navigating Beltway politics. Thanks so much to this community for caring about ethics and the environment and signaling to the Trump administration that you were paying attention to the shenanigans the White House tried to hide. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who rejects mainstream climate science.
The list of accusations levelled against the 50-year-old EPA chief had grown nearly too long to itemise.
Wheeler is Pruitt's "ideological twin", just with more "political savvy" according to the article.