Senate Democrats hope they can block Wheeler’s nomination

Governor Glenn Youngkin’s controversial choice for the post of environmental secretary is making his case to members of the General Assembly, who must approve his nomination.

Being Donald Trump’s EPA chief isn’t exactly the best resume for Senate Democrats, who hope to reject Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s pick to lead his administration’s environmental policy. It created a sense of tension when Andrew Wheeler testified before a Senate panel tasked with crafting environmental laws. He says the press reports that he is a former coal lobbyist, but he says that only tells part of the story.

“They don’t report that my number one project for this company was to advocate for the Minors Protection Act to strengthen United Mine Workers pension and health care benefits,” he explained Tuesday. to the panel.

Wheeler presented himself as someone who reduced air pollution, cleaned up superfund sites and made drinking water mandatory for school children. But Sierra Club’s Tim Cywinski says his rhetoric doesn’t match his record.

“Andrew Wheeler has a history of undermining science and environmental protections meant to keep people safe,” Cywinski says. “Virginia has come a long way in environmental justice and climate action over the past two years, and Andrew Wheeler is a significant threat to the progress we’ve made.

Senate Democrats are hoping they will have the votes to reject his nomination, which is quite rare in Virginia politics. The last time this happened was in the Kaine administration when a Republican-led House rejected Kaine’s candidate for Commonwealth Secretary.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

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