Capito votes in committee to make Murray Energy's former lobbyist the permanent head of the EPA
From the Associated Press, earlier today:
Acting Environmental Protection Agency chief and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler won a Senate committee’s approval of his appointment to the permanent post on Tuesday, along with praise from the panel’s Republicans for his work rolling back a series of Obama-era environmental measures.
Among the concerns raised by Democrats were the increasing number of contaminants found in America’s water supplies. According to the AP, Capito had gotten assurances from Wheeler that the EPA would deal with these toxic chemicals:
Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito told lawmakers at Tuesday’s session that Wheeler in recent days had assured her that the EPA would “look at all available statutory authorities” to deal with a kind of toxic manmade industrial contaminant, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, increasingly being found in public water supplies nationally and globally.
Former Murray Energy lobbyist Wheeler assured her? Why doesn’t this make me feel better?
Today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail included an op-ed by a West Virginia environmentalist who took her daughter to watch this same committee ask questions of Wheeler. As Penny Dacks describes:
We sat in the Senate hearing room and listened as senators on the committee responsible for vetting Wheeler, including our own Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., spoke with Wheeler. We were sorely disappointed, particularly by Sen. Capito. We expected tough questions and candid answers about how Wheeler’s actions, past and present, will affect the health of West Virginians and our access to clean water. What we heard were off-topic statements from Capito and a free-for-all approach to what should be objective, scientific facts.
She expected tough questions from Capito? Someone should have warned Dacks that Capito never asks difficult questions. (See Kavanaugh, Brett, for instance.)
From earlier today:
Note – I’m not making this up.