Augusta – In response to a vote in the U.S. Senate to confirm former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as the next Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Natural Resources Council of Maine issued the following statement from Federal Project Director Emmie Theberge:
“We are extremely disappointed with this decision by the U.S. Senate to confirm Mr. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who has proven time and time again that he is determined to weaken environmental laws that protect the health of people nationwide and our environment. He is the mastermind for an agenda of extreme rollbacks of environmental protections that we depend on here in Maine for clean air and healthy waters.
“The pattern is clear: Mr. Wheeler chooses to support the interests of the fossil fuel industry and chemical manufacturers instead of fulfilling the EPA’s mission of protecting clean air, clean water, and people’s health. Mr. Wheeler is working with polluting industries to weaken limits on toxic mercury from coal power plants, gut effective clean water protections for streams and wetlands, and subvert the ability of states to set clean car standards that have reduced pollution and improved gas mileage for cars.
“We thank Maine Senators Susan Collins and Angus King for opposing Mr. Wheeler’s confirmation today and for standing up for the health of Maine’s people, environment, and economy.”