Tags: andrew wheeler | epa | murray energy | confirmation hearing

EPA Deputy Nominee Tries to Distance Himself From Lobbyist Career

EPA Deputy Nominee Tries to Distance Himself From Lobbyist Career
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 November 2017 03:27 PM

Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy administration of the Environmental Protection Agency, attempted during his confirmation hearing to put distance between himself and his previous work as a Murray Energy lobbyist.

Murray Energy is the largest privately owned coal company in the U.S.

Wheeler unregistered himself as a Murray lobbyist in a filing Aug. 11, according to the Washington Examiner.

The nominee noted that he had met with the Department of Energy and in a Capitol Hill meeting on Murray Energy's behalf a few months ago about Secretary of Energy Rick Perry's proposal to subsidize coal plants and nuclear plants.

The nominee added that he had seen the action plan for the coal industry that Bob Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, had provided to Trump in January, the Examiner reported.

"I did not work on (that) plan or have a copy of that memo. I saw it briefly at the beginning of the year, but don't have possession of it. I looked at it," Wheeler said, according to the Examiner.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Wheeler's impartiality is in doubt.

"It's something of significance if the CEO of a significant industry said he has given (Trump) a three-page plan, and the candidate for deputy EPA administrator said he has seen it," Whitehouse said, according to the Examiner.

The American people are entitled to an EPA that is not following a coal company's three-page plan, but what is in the best interest of the American people," Whitehouse added.

Wheeler credited the career employees of the EPA during the hearing.

"I have always believed that the career employees of the EPA are some of the most dedicated and hard-working in the federal government," Wheeler said during the hearing, according to The Washington Post.

He did not pledge to recuse himself from working on lawsuits that Murray Energy had filed against the EPA, saying that he would follow guidance that the EPA's ethics advisers provide, according to The New York Times.

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Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump's nominee for deputy administration of the Environmental Protection Agency, attempted during his confirmation hearing to put distance between himself and his previous work as a Murray Energy lobbyist.
andrew wheeler, epa, murray energy, confirmation hearing
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2017-27-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 03:27 PM
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