Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 28, 2019

Contact: Emily Knobbe, (314) 313-2708,

Senate Confirms Former Coal Lobbyist Wheeler to Head EPA

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Senate today confirmed Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The former coal industry lobbyist has been the agency’s acting administrator since the resignation of scandal-plagued Scott Pruitt in July. 

“Andrew Wheeler’s corruption may be less cartoonish, but he’s every bit the villain Scott Pruitt was,” said Emily Knobbe, EPA policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wheeler wants to turn the EPA into a wish-granting service for polluters, no matter the cost to public health or wildlife. But it’s only a matter of time before his dirty dealings land him in the same trash heap as his predecessor.”

As acting administrator Wheeler pushed forward a number of Pruitt’s plans to dismantle critical environmental protections. That includes proposals to gut fuel-efficiency standards for cars, the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.

Before joining the EPA, Wheeler worked at Faegre Baker Daniels, lobbying for companies like coal giant Murray Energy Corporation against environmental protections. The Center and Friends of the Earth sued the EPA in December for refusing to release public records concerning meetings and communications with Faegre Baker Daniels lobbyists.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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