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 on the Senate floor, on the need to confirm Andrew Wheeler to serve as deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Mr. President, I am here today with my colleague from Oklahoma, and I rise today to speak in favor of the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as the deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“During the previous administration, the Environmental Protection Agency issued burdensome regulations that harmed American workers and communities.
“Since President Trump took office 15 months ago, the EPA has rolled back many of these punishing regulations - including the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ and the Waters of the United States or WOTUS rule.
“Under President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency is working for commonsense environmental policies.
“Policies that don’t harm the American economy and don’t punish American families.
“Administrator Pruitt needs his full team at the Environmental Protection Agency in order to accomplish these goals.
“Today, the Senate will consider the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be deputy administrator of the EPA.
“Now the deputy administrator is critical in developing and implementing policies that fulfill the EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment.
“Mr. Wheeler is very well qualified for the position.
“He has spent over 25 years working in environmental policy.
“In that time, he has served as a career employee at the EPA - working as an environmental protection specialist.
“This experience makes him uniquely qualified to serve in the role of deputy administrator.
“He has spent over a decade here on Capitol Hill shaping environmental law.
“He served as the staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works’ Air Subcommittee for six years. From 1997 to 2003.
“This was followed by another six years as Republican staff director and chief counsel for the full committee, 2003 to 2009.
“Most recently, Mr. Wheeler has been a consultant for a variety of energy and environmental clients.
“Andrew Wheeler’s commitment to sound environmental policies has received recognition from across the aisle as well.
“The Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member said this 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.’
“Stuart Spencer, the president of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies said this of Mr. Wheeler: ‘Mr. Wheeler has exemplified excellence in his professional endeavors, in both his previous government service and his private-sector experience. In short, he is keenly qualified to hit the ground running at EPA.’ And I agree.
“His nomination has garnered the support of a broad base of organizations including the National Association of Manufacturers, the United Mine Workers of America, and the Chamber of Commerce.
“Mr. President, Andrew Wheeler is well qualified to fill this critically important role.
“He is the right person to serve as deputy administrator of the EPA.
“I would urge every Senators to support this nomination.”
On Feb. 7, 2018, the EPW Committee advanced Wheeler’s nomination at a committee business meeting.
On Nov. 8, 2017, The EPW Committee held a hearing on Wheeler’s nomination.