Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a hearing on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For more information on Wheeler’s testimony click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“Today, we will consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Before I speak about Acting Administrator Wheeler’s nomination, I want to take a moment to welcome the new members of our committee – Senator Braun and Senator Cramer.

“Their experience and expertise will strengthen our committee, and bring fresh perspectives to our debates. Welcome.

“I would also like to welcome back all of the old members of the committee.

“I look forward to working with each of you as we conduct the committee’s business this Congress.

“Which brings us to the business of today’s hearing.

“President Trump has nominated Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler to serve as the administrator of the agency.

“Mr. Wheeler has served as deputy administrator of EPA since April of 2018, when the Senate confirmed his nomination with bipartisan support.

“Since July of last year, Mr. Wheeler has served as the acting administrator of EPA.

“I believe Acting Administrator Wheeler has done an outstanding job leading the EPA these past six months.

“Under Acting Administrator Wheeler’s leadership, the agency has taken a number of significant actions to protect our nation’s environment, while also supporting economic growth.

“Acting Administrator Wheeler has led efforts to: issue common-sense regulatory proposals, like the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, and the revised definition of ‘Waters of the United State’; implement this committee’s 2016 bipartisan reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act in an effective and efficient manner; reduce lead exposure, including through the Federal Lead Action Plan; provide greater regulatory certainty to states, to Tribes, localities, and to the regulated community; and improve enforcement and compliance assistance.

“Acting Administrator Wheeler is very well qualified to run the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Before his leadership roles at the agency, Mr. Wheeler spent 25 years working in the environmental field: as a career employee with the Environmental Protection Agency; as this committee’s Clean Air Subcommittee staff director; as then full committee staff director and chief counsel; and finally, as a consultant for a large variety of energy and environmental clients.

“Mr. Wheeler has received broad and bipartisan support.

“Former Democratic vice presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, who served as a member of this committee while Mr. Wheeler was staff director, stated when Wheeler was nominated for deputy director that Mr. Wheeler ‘conducted himself in a fair and professional manner. I hope his nomination will receive similarly fair consideration by the Senate.’

“Ranking Member Carper said of Mr. Wheeler: ‘I think having worked in the agency, he actually cares about the environment; the air we breathe, the water we drink, the planet on which we live.’

“The EPA administrator plays a central role in developing and implementing programs and activities focused on fulfilling the EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.

“We know how well qualified Mr. Wheeler is, and when confirmed, what a wealth of experience and expertise he’s going to bring to this critically important job.

“I will work with committee members to move this important nomination forward.”