Former EPA Director Scott Pruitt was the latest member of the Trump Administration to bite the dust amid a sea of corruption. Pruit, whose list of ethical violations read as long–and slow –as the Star Wars opening crawl, was soon replaced by Deputy EPA director Andrew Wheeler.
Wheeler, a former coal energy insider, is by no means a friend to Americans who believe in clean air.
But the incoming EPA director seems to believe in Climate Change — and that’s a start. Or, perhaps, given Trump’s track record, could be his demise.
During an interview with The Washington Post, Wheeler broke with Trump and top officials when acknowledged climate change was real and that man-made activity plays a role.
“I do believe climate change is real,” Wheeler said. “I do believe that people have an impact on the climate.”
We don’t expect Mr. Wheeler to suddenly start screaming for cap-and-trade or join an anti-fracking rally, but we live such surreal and purposefully ignorant of science times that a comment as commonplace as this can be celebrated, or at least noted.
In the interview, Wheeler would go on to confirm the EPA would most likely remain a bastion of influence for massive corporations that produce dirty and outdated energy. He has said he will continue to pursue alternatives to former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which Wheeler said has gone “outside the four corners of the Clean Air Act.”
Trump, always willing to cater to the lowest common denominator and ignore facts, has referred to global warming as a Chinese “hoax” in the past. Now, he is facing a slew of critics who say he has stuffed his administration with nothing but industry yes man and climate-change deniers.
Wheeler will most likely maintain dirty energy’s grip on the EPA, but one has to wonder if rhetoric like this will bring about his a dismissal from a President who loathes any dissent.
Featured image via Wikipedia