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Wheeler confirmed as EPA administrator

By Justin Walker

Andrew Wheeler was confirmed as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday, Feb. 28, following a 52-47 vote.

This allows Wheeler to move forward with several of the Trump administration’s regulatory priorities, including finalizing the new Clean Water Rule. If the proposal is approved, this rule would replace the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule.

“Farm Bureau welcomes the Senate’s confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as EPA administrator. This is a tribute to his deep experience and the expertise he brings to the office,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement. “Mr. Wheeler knows firsthand the impact EPA policies have on America’s economy from his previous work in the private sector and as chief of staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The U.S. government needs more people like him. We look forward to continuing to work with Mr. Wheeler and his staff on issues critical to farmers and ranchers.”

He is the fifteenth EPA administrator. He has served as EPA acting administrator since July 2018, following the resignation of then-Administrator Scott Pruitt. Before July, Wheeler was the deputy administrator.

Wheeler began his career during George H. W. Bush’s administration as a special assistant in EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Toxics office.

He’s also served six years as the majority staff director and chief council of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Prior to that role, he served in a similar capacity for the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, Wetlands and Nuclear Safety.

The Ohio native is also the past chairman of the National Energy Resource Organization.

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