Marc Morano 202-224-5762


Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797


WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, blasted Democrats use of a highly unusual procedural move to obstruct William Wehrum to head the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee favorably reported Mr. Wehrum out of committee back on April 26, 2006. Because of Senate Democrats procedural move, Mr. Wehrum must now be re-nominated by the President, further delaying the progress of improving our nation’s air quality.

“Senate Democrat’s obstructionist tactics of Mr. Wehrum’s nomination is simply despicable,” Senator Inhofe said. “It is outrageous that Democrats used a little used procedural move to further delay a highly qualified EPA nominee in Bill Wehrum. Since Mr. Wehrum began his tenure at the EPA, air pollution has dropped 12%. Mr. Wehrum worked to help craft legislation designed to reduce power plant pollution by 70% - the most dramatic reduction in power plant emissions ever required. When the legislation was blocked by Democrats over an unrelated issue, he helped craft a collection of Clean Air rules to accomplish as much of the reductions as allowed under the current Clean Air Act. Together, these rules will dramatically reduce pollution from older, dirtier power plants. One of these rules represents the first time ever that mercury emissions have been regulated. In addition, Mr. Wehrum helped craft the diesel rules now going into effect, which will virtually eliminate sulfur emissions from diesel engines, cutting emissions by 97%. These rules will not only make the black soot coming out of buses and trucks a thing of the past; it will do the same thing for construction and other off-road equipment.

“The bottom line is that the air is cleaner because of this Administration’s policies, and in large part thanks to Bill Wehrum. The only thing that has become dirtier is the partisan games Senator Reid and the Democrats are playing with the environment.”