Tags: democrat | jeff merkley | grills | william wehrum | EPA nominee

'Gotta Be Kidding Me:' EPA Nominee Gets Grilled by Dem Senator

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By    |   Thursday, 05 October 2017 01:18 PM

A Democratic senator questioning a high-profile EPA nominee got a bit testy in his remarks during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., was grilling William Wehrum, President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as the EPA's assistant administrator for air and radiation, on Wednesday. If confirmed, Wehrum would deal with issues such as air pollution, climate change, and policies regarding automobile emissions.

Merkley showed Wehrum a chart he said was compiled by NASA entitled "Clear and massive human impact." It had several lines on it that he said showed a rise in greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to climate change.

"Can you, without great familiarity, acknowledge that these lines generally track each other?" Merkley asked.

"Once again senator, I'm not familiar with this data, I have no idea what it depicts," Wehrum replied.

Wehrum began to explain that understanding the data being presented was critical in giving an appropriate answer, but Merkley interrupted and accused the nominee of being "Koch Brother-inspired."

"What we have seen is this Koch Brother-inspired determination not to acknowledge even the most fundamental facts," Merkley said.

"Why should the American people put into an office of significant influence someone who refuses to look at the facts directly that are so important to the health of this planet?"

During Wehrum's response, Merkley interrupted again and asked a series of rapid-fire questions regarding Wehrum's knowledge of certain subjects, including claims that the ocean's acidity is on the rise. When Wehrum didn't say much, the senator said this:

"My goodness, you've gotta be kidding me. You are in this field and you have never read anything about the increasing acidity of the ocean?

"No one can look at what is happening on the planet and see there is nothing happening unless you are deliberately determined to ignore that information. That makes you really, quite frankly, unacceptable to serve in this capacity."

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A Democratic senator questioning a high-profile EPA nominee got a bit testy in his remarks during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.
democrat, jeff merkley, grills, william wehrum, EPA nominee
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2017-18-05
Thursday, 05 October 2017 01:18 PM
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