EPA Nominee Andrew Wheeler Downplays Climate Threat At Testy Confirmation Hearing

Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist chosen by President Donald Trump to serve as the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator, downplayed the threat of climate change at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

He refused to call the rapid warming of the planet a crisis. He repeatedly misrepresented his own agency’s findings about a rule to gut an Obama-era power plant regulation, inflating the emissions cuts the new proposal would mandate. He even mixed up two of the most important climate science reports to come out in the last three months, admitting he hadn’t fully read the report co-authored by researchers at his own agency.

“I believe climate change is a global issue that must be addressed globally,” Wheeler said. “I would not call it the greatest crisis, no sir.”

It was a brazen if not unexpected stance from the nominee to become the EPA’s 15th administrator. Wheeler isn’t new to the job: Last month, he became the longest-serving acting chief in the agency’s history, having taken over in July when former Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in disgrace amid mounting scandals.

In November 2017, when he appeared before the Senate environment and public works committee to interview for the EPA’s No. 2 job, Wheeler said he believed “that man has an impact on the climate, but what’s not completely understood is what the impact is.”

Read the entire article at Huffingtonpost.com