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Holding Wheeler Nomination Hearing During Shutdown Is Insult and Threat to Public

Washington, D.C – WEBWIRE

This afternoon, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso announced the hearing for coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler’s nomination for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency would be held on January 16, likely landing amid the continued government shutdown.

Already during this shutdown, Wheeler has proposed to roll back the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards that prevent 11,000 premature deaths a year and keep deadly neurotoxins out of our air and water.

Meanwhile, pending Sierra Club litigation will force the release of tens of thousands of previously undisclosed emails from Wheeler and EPA staff, threatening to further expose Wheeler’s close relationship with his former employers in the dirty fuels industry.

In response, Sierra Club Legislative Director Melinda Pierce released the following statement:

“There is no clearer statement of the priorities of Donald Trump and Senate Republican leadership than their abdication of their duty to keep the public safe and the government running while ramming through a toxic nominee like coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler during a government shutdown. This is an insult to every EPA employee and federal contractor who has been furloughed or forced to go without a paycheck during this shutdown and a threat to the public that deserves clean air and clean water. Senate Republicans confirming Andrew Wheeler to lead the EPA is the equivalent of leaving the EPA shut down, because he will do nothing to protect the health of the public and everything to enrich corporate polluters.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

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