Gone is the pragmatism and consensus-seeking Glenn Youngkin promised as a candidate. As Governor-elect, Youngkin has nominated as the next Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources extremist Andrew Wheeler, head of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Trump and formerly a lobbyist for the coal industry. In 2019, Wheeler said that he does not believe climate change poses an existential threat. He should not be confirmed.
At EPA, Wheeler compiled a lengthy record of anti-environmental actions, including curtailing regulations governing emissions from power plants and cars. Perhaps most seriously, he imposed restrictions on the types of data EPA could use to formulate future rules, banning the use of population studies in which the subjects provided private information in exchange for confidentiality. Population studies using confidential data have been the foundation of some of the most effective air and water regulations of the last several decades, and an inability to consider such data seriously impaired EPA’s ability to adopt any new regulations. The restrictions were eventually vacated by a federal court and have now been formally reversed by the Biden EPA.
Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.) called Wheeler “an anti-environmental ideologue.” The Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club called the appointment “reckless” and urged that “Democrats . . . use their majority to prevent one of the most dangerous appointments in our state’s history.” Democrats have a narrow majority in the Virginia Senate, so if Democrats unite, Wheeler’s nomination can be blocked.
You can help by contacting your state Senator and urging him or her to vote against confirmation of Andrew Wheeler. Tell them:
I urge you to vote against confirmation of Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of Natural Resources. His appointment would be a disaster for the struggle to contain climate change and preserve a livable planet for our children.
These three state Senators represent parts of Arlington County:
Adam Ebbin (D)
571-384-8957 - 804-698-7530 (Legislative Office when in session)
Barbara Favola (D)
Janet Howell (D)
703-709-8283 - 804-698-7532 (Legislative Office when in session)
Not sure who your state Senator is? Ask https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/