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Former coal lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler confirmed as new EPA administrator

in the vicinityVideoWho is EPA Andrew Wheeler?

The Senate confirmed on Thursday, former coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in a 52 to 47 vote, largely along party lines.

The next President of the Trump the Cabinet of Wheeler, who has served as Deputy EPA administrator, since former chief Scott Pruitt joined in July of last year, in the midst of a series of ethics investigations, in the works since November, when the President officially nominated him to the post office.

“The Senate has taken decisive action to confirm, Andrew Wheeler as the administrator of the [EPA],” sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming., tweeted. “As acting administrator of the [EPA], he has to prioritize meaningful action to protect our air & water to grow while at the same time, our economy.”

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Wheeler’s nomination – and his time as a Deputy EPA administrator was not without controversy, as many Democrats and environmentalists have criticized him for his close ties to the coal industry, and for his push to deregulate a number of environmental rules and safety precautions implemented by the Obama administration.

“Senate Republicans are officially a coal-lobbyist responsible for the protection of our children from the filthy air and toxic water generated by its corporate environment are harmful to the customers,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement on Thursday. “With every rollback, Wheeler is stack the deck in favor of the environment are harmful to the company, the employees formerly there for him and let our families pay the price of more pollution with their health.”

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican to oppose Wheeler’s confirmation.

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“While Mr. Wheeler is certainly qualified for this position, I have too many concerns with the actions he has taken during his tenure as Deputy Administrator will be able to support its action,” Collins said in a statement. “The policies he has supported, as Acting Administrator are not in the best interest of our environment and public health, particularly given the threat of climate change for our country.”

Wheeler began his career at the EPA’s Information Management Division, before it, to serve as Chief Counsel to Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Ok., and then as a lobbyist for the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels, where he is a controversial coal producer Murray energy represented. Trump him in October 2017, the EPA Deputy administrator to be nominated.

ANDREW WHEELER, A FORMER COAL LOBBYIST WITH DECADES-LONG EXPERIENCE IN WASHINGTON

During his time as Deputy EPA administrator, Wheeler has proposed a relaxation of the carbon dioxide limits for power plants, and a relaxation of fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks. He has also tried to approve the new coal-fired power plants easier, to undo, to limit the legal justifications for the control of mercury emissions from power plants and the Federal government have power over the protection of the small waterways

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To deregulate Wheeler’s push, however, was coupled with a loosening of some of Pruitt is more controversial, regulatory plans, such as, for example, the lightness of the emissions rules for long-haul trucks. Last week, Wheeler also stretched, to adopt a plan more stringent limits for nitrogen oxide emissions from heavy trucks.

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His confirmation was greeted Thursday with praise from the industry he used to represent him as an ally in the fight to roll back the regulations in Obama’s ” Clean Power Plan.

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“Andrew Wheeler has been as a thoughtful leader who understands the need for a sensible environmental policy,” Michelle Bloodworth, the President of the coal industry group America’s Power, said in a statement. “His many years of experience in the public service shows his integrity to serve EPA’s mission. We congratulate Administrator, Wheeler, and look forward to his further leadership of the EPA.”

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