DC: Acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler gave his first public address, providing a glimpse into how he will lead the country’s top environmental regulatory agency.
Wheeler addressed EPA staffers Wednesday, only days after Scott Pruitt resigned as EPA chief amid mounting scandals that engulfed his tenure. The nearly 20-minute speech offered a brief and much anticipated view into Wheeler’s personality and management style. The former lobbyist explained his background, defended his past work and even made a Trump-like ding at the media.
“Since this is my first time speaking to many of you, and since you’ve probably only been reading flattering things about me in the press, allow me to briefly introduce myself and then explain my vision and priorities for the EPA,” he said.
The line was in clear reference to the extensive news coverage Wheeler received upon President Donald Trump’s announcement on July 5 that he would be taking over Pruitt’s responsibilities. Critics immediately hit Wheeler’s past lobbying work for a coal company, claiming he would be another ally to the fossil fuel industry. The new EPA leader hit back against this narrative.
“After I left the Hill, I worked in the private sector for nine years,” he said. “I had a number of clients. If you read in the press, I only had one, but I actually had over 20 clients.” MORE
SNIP: He’s a scamp. I like him.
(Until he gives me a reason not to)