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Congressman Tom Emmer

Representing the 6th District of Minnesota

Western Caucus Applauds the Confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as Administrator of the EPA

March 1, 2019
Press Release

(Courtesy of the Congressional Western Caucus)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the Western Caucus released statements applauding Andrew Wheeler's confirmation as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:

Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): "The leadership of Andrew Wheeler at EPA has been transformational; not only for the agency, but for the country as a whole. His integrity, work-ethic, availability and focus are a breath of fresh air. Andrew’s efforts to overturn job-killing and unconstitutional rules like WOTUS and the so-called 'Clean Power Plan' are of critical importance to rural America. Mr. Wheeler’s efforts to hold polluters accountable and cleanup Superfund sites should be commended. The Western Caucus looks forward to continuing its work with the Administrator."

Chief Rules Officer Dan Newhouse (WA-04): "I applaud the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as the next Administrator of the EPA. Under Administrator Wheeler, the EPA will continue to rein in the agency’s burdensome regulatory agenda pursued under President Obama while ensuring we are good stewards of the land." 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Republican Greg Walden (OR-02): "While serving as both Deputy Administrator and Acting Administrator at the EPA, Mr. Wheeler has certainly proven his ability to effectively lead the agency. With more than 25 years of experience with environmental policy, he understands the importance of protecting public health and the environment while also creating a stable regulatory climate to unleash the American economy. We look forward to continuing to work with him to advance commonsense regulatory reforms while maintaining responsible environmental stewardship."

House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Republican Frank Lucas (OK-03): "Administrator Wheeler is a pragmatic and experienced leader and I’m pleased to have him at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency. Administrator Wheeler and the Trump Administration are working to ensure that the EPA’s policies are effective and flexible without overburdening our farmers, ranchers, scientists, and small businesses. As Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and an Oklahoman farmer, I look forward to working with Administrator Wheeler to advance this agenda and promote America’s next-generation research while further protecting America’s diverse and rich landscape."

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer (MN-06): "I applaud the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as our Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. As Acting Administrator, he has focused on sensible policies that protect our air and water, while evaluating commonsense changes to unnecessary and burdensome regulations. His attention to the overreach of WOTUS will lead to a more effective policy that no longer punishes our farmers, ranchers and rural communities. I congratulate Administrator Wheeler on his confirmation and know his expertise will serve our country well."

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02): "For far too long, the EPA has meddled in the everyday lives of Americans. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way under the Trump Administration. Administrator Wheeler has been instrumental in the EPA’s efforts to repeal harmful regulations on farmers, ranchers, and businesses—including the overreaching Waters of the United States rule. Congratulations to Administrator Wheeler on his confirmation and I look forward to working together in the future."

Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-07): "With Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the EPA, Americans can expect a fair and competent administrator. He will lead the agency with an even-handed approach required of federal regulators. Administrator Wheeler will continue the efforts of the Trump Administration treating state and local environmental agencies as partners rather than adversaries as the Obama Administration did.  I congratulate Administrator Wheeler and look forward to collaborating with him in creating a fair regulatory structure that protects the environment while also encouraging economic growth."

Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01): “New EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is a top notch leader and I congratulate him on his confirmation by the Senate. After 8 years of oppressive regulations under the previous administration, Administrator Wheeler will stand up for American businesses and provide much-needed relief. His commitment to our country’s energy sector – of which Oklahoma is a major participant – is encouraging and foreshadows a bright future ahead. Congratulations, again, to Administrator Wheeler!”

Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09): "During his time at the EPA, Andrew Wheeler has helped steer it back to its fundamental mission of protecting clear air and clean water. As Administrator, he will continue this focus while keeping the agency within its lawful authority. He will be an excellent partner to states and Congress, and I look forward to his continued leadership on behalf of our environment."

Congressman Dusty Johnson (SD-At Large): "Administrator Wheeler has the experience and qualifications necessary for the job at hand. I commend the Senate for confirming a qualified candidate to fulfill the mission at the EPA. Under his leadership, Administrator Wheeler has run the agency as Congress intended to protect our air, water and environment.  I look forward to working with the Administrator as he finalizes the Administration’s proposal on year-round sales of E15, clarifying jurisdiction of Waters of the U.S. and many other issues that impact the lives of South Dakotans."

Previous statements were also released by members of the U.S. Senate Western Caucus including: Chairman Steve Daines (Mont.) and Caucus Members Senators Mike Rounds (S.D.), Jim Inhofe (Okla.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), John Boozman (Ark.), John Barrasso (Wyo.).

"Having worked with Administrator Wheeler both in Montana and DC, he takes a commonsense approach to solving issues important to Montana and other states," Daines said. "I look forward to continuing to partner with Administrator Wheeler to protect our environment in Montana, finalize and clean up our superfund sites in Butte, Anaconda, Libby and other areas, and make sure our state can continue to provide high paying agriculture and energy jobs. Under Wheeler’s leadership at the EPA, I look forward to continuing the progress we’ve made for the health of our communities, for our local economies, and for our environment." 

"I congratulate Administrator Wheeler on his confirmation," Rounds said. "I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Wheeler during his confirmation process a number of times, and I appreciated our candid conversations about year-round E-15 sales, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), small refinery waivers and other issues important to South Dakotans. In his EPW confirmation hearing, I asked about his plan to accomplish the administration’s goal of year-round E-15 sales by the summer driving season. He told me the EPA is committed to getting E-15 done before the summer driving season. At a time of low commodity prices and trade uncertainty, finalizing year-round sales of E-15 is an opportunity to support South Dakota’s farmers. I was pleased to support Mr. Wheeler’s confirmation and I look forward to working with him in his new role as EPA Administrator."

"Andrew Wheeler is the right choice to lead the EPA—no one knows his qualifications better than I do—and I am pleased that the Senate confirmed him today," Inhofe said. "Andrew is an unparalleled leader in energy and environmental policy and knows what it takes to ensure that our environment is cared for within the laws passed by Congress. As Administrator, he will continue important deregulation efforts with President Trump ensuring that all stakeholders are heard, and provide certainty and stability for the regulated community. Congratulations Andrew, keep up the good work."

"Administrator Wheeler has taken the time to listen to the concerns of farmers and ranchers regarding the Obama Administration’s damaging ‘Waters of the U.S.’ (WOTUS) rule. The EPA, under Mr. Wheeler’s direction, has already demonstrated a high regard for the concerns of rural America, and I look forward to working with him on issues important to agriculture," Roberts said.

"The EPA is most effective when it acts as a partner with states and follows the intent of Congress to help protect the environment," Boozman said. "The administrator must set that tone and help steer the institution in that direction rather than try to enforce top-down, heavy-handed mandates that spur litigation and raise costs on families and businesses. We can and must balance the need to protect our environment and economy. I believe Andrew Wheeler understands this dynamic well given his service within the agency as well as the Senate, which is why I voted to confirm him. I look forward to working with him to protect the residents of Arkansas and our environment."

"The Senate has taken decisive action to confirm Andrew Wheeler as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency," Barrasso said. "I believe he will do an excellent job leading the agency. As acting administrator of EPA, he has prioritized commonsense policies that protect our air and water, while allowing our economy to grow. I look forward to working with Administrator Wheeler in his new role."

Background:

On February 28, Andrew Wheeler was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the 15th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a vote of 52-47.

During his tenure at EPA, Administrator Wheeler has established a strong track record on deregulation, energy, environment, the rule of law and science-based decision-making.

Administrator Wheeler has taken significant steps to clean up Superfund sites. EPA deleted all or part of 22 sites from the National Priorities List in fiscal year 2018 alone. This is the largest number of deletions in one year since fiscal year 2005. He has also taken significant actions to hold polluters accountable. According to his testimony before a U.S. Senate Committee, “In fiscal year 2018, EPA enforcement actions required the treatment, disposal, or elimination of 809 million pounds of pollutants and waste.”

The EPA finalized 13 major deregulatory actions in 2018 alone, saving the American people nearly $1.8 billion in regulatory costs. In total, the Trump Administration has finalized more than 30 major deregulatory actions, restoring common sense to the regulatory process and bringing accountability to an agency that previously operated outside of statutory guidelines and Supreme Court rulings.

Administrator Wheeler’s leadership in seeking to repeal WOTUS and rewrite a new definition of the Clean Water Act consistent with the Constitution is important to farmers, businesses and rural communities throughout the country.

Courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Wheeler has dedicated his career to advancing sound environmental policies. He began his career during the George H. W. Bush Administration as a Special Assistant in EPA's Pollution Prevention and Toxics office.

He was a Principal and the team leader of the Energy and Environment Practice Group at FaegreBD Consulting, as well as Counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels law firm, where he practiced since 2009. He also served as the Co-chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Industry team across the entire firm.

Prior to his work with the firm, Mr. Wheeler served for six years as the Majority Staff Director and Chief Counsel, as well as the Minority Staff Director, of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Before his time at the full Senate EPW Committee, Mr. Wheeler served in a similar capacity for six years for the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, Wetlands and Nuclear Safety.

Mr. Wheeler is the past Chairman of the National Energy Resource Organization (NERO) and a Stennis Fellow. Mr. Wheeler is also an Eagle Scout.

Mr. Wheeler was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He completed his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis, his MBA at George Mason University, and his undergraduate work at Case Western Reserve University in English and Biology. 

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