The former chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is praising Andrew Wheeler after his first week as acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, The Hill reported.
GOP Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma placed his support behind Wheeler, who has committed to increased transparency in the EPA while not backing off President Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda, which former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pushed forward effectively.
Pruitt resigned from his position at the agency on July 5 after months of negative news stories on possible ethics violations. Trump had refused to remove Pruitt from office despite the negative press for months because of the close relationship Pruitt maintained with the president, as well as Pruitt’s effectiveness at cutting regulations. (RELATED: Scott Pruitt Resigns; Trump: ‘Scott Has Done An Outstanding Job’)
“[Wheeler] is doing a great job,” Inhofe said, according to The Hill. Wheeler spent a decade working for the senator as a senior aide to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“He is making an effort to be different than anyone else,” Inhofe continued. “Because he knows the job, and it seems that he can connect with people and listen to them. He’s doing a great job.”(RELATED: Tom Steyer And Mad EPA Employees Are Behind Scott Pruitt’s Scandals, Inhofe Says)
Inhofe defended Pruitt in June after meeting with the former administrator over the ethics scandals. After speaking, the senator was convinced the allegations of unethical behavior were overblown and fueled by environmentalists, such as billionaire Tom Steyer, and EPA employees unhappy with the administrator’s agenda, as well as “unprecedented threats” leveled against Pruitt that have led to increased spending on security and precautions.
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