WASHINGTON — Acting Environmental Protection Agency head Andrew Wheeler has moved a step closer to Senate confirmation for the full-time job.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-10 along party lines Tuesday to approve President Donald Trump’s nomination of Wheeler as EPA administrator.
Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist and has served as EPA acting head since Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics allegations in July.
Senate Republicans praise Wheeler for rolling back Obama-era environmental measures, calling that good for the economy.
Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia says she voted for Wheeler after he assured her the EPA would “look at all available statutory authorities” to deal with a manmade industrial contaminant hitting her state particularly hard.
Democrats say Wheeler is cutting environmental protections to benefit fossil fuel and other industries.