Richmond, Virginia—Wednesday, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin appointed Andrew Wheeler, a former henchman of Donald Trump, as Secretary of Natural Resources for Virginia. Wheeler is the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, appointed by Trump in 2019. While Trump and Youngkin’s partnership is not a surprise, Democrats and environmentalists expressed tremendous disapproval.
“With his selection of Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of Natural Resources, Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has proven once again that he will line the pockets of corporate polluters instead of supporting the needs of our community,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director of Progress Virginia said. “We all want to live in a community with equitable environmental resources, where everyone has the materials and ability to thrive and succeed. Andrew Wheeler will prevent us all from making that a reality, and we hope that members of the Senate will decline to confirm him. We need people in the cabinet who will support the needs of our community and ensure that all of us have access to clean air, water, and air.”
Youngkin names Trump’s EPA Chief to lead natural resources, sparking outrage from Dems, environmental groups [Richmond Times Dispatch, Patrick Wilson]
“Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday named Andrew Wheeler, who rolled back environmental safeguards as head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump, as secretary of natural resources. The choice drew outrage from Democrats and environmental groups.”
“Michael Town, executive director of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement: “Youngkin’s pick for Secretary of Natural Resources is simply unacceptable.”
“As head of EPA under former President Trump, Wheeler did nothing more than cater to corporate polluter interests time and time again, putting their welfare ahead of our environment and Americans’ health. This is hands down the most extreme nomination for an environmental post in Virginia’s history and the absolute worst pick that the Governor-elect could make.”
Rep. Don Beyer, D-8th said Wheeler “led the implementation of an EPA dirty air initiative his own agency estimated would lead to 1,400 premature deaths and breathing problems in thousands of people, many of them children. He led the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle environmental protections, selling out the American people and the EPA’s very mission to benefit corporate polluters.”
“The Union of Concerned Scientists in 2019 created a list of “80 Trump administration attacks on science” and called Wheeler a “driving force” behind many.”