(USA) New EPA Chief Makes Clear: The Easing of Environmental Rules Will Continue

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 01: Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee August 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Wheeler testified during the committee's hearing titled "Examining EPA's Agenda: Protecting the Environment and Allowing America's Economy to Grow." (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Georgina Gustin | Inside Climate News | 02/08/2018

Former energy lobbyist Andrew Wheeler said he will continue the deregulatory course set by Scott Pruitt, without the scandals that plagued his predecessor.

In his first Congressional testimony since taking over the Environmental Protection Agency’s leadership in July, Andrew Wheeler tried to reassure lawmakers that the scandal-scarred agency will get a fresh start under his tenure.

But during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee Wednesday, Wheeler clearly signaled that he’ll pursue the course of his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, who resigned amid multiple investigations into his mishandling of the agency.

Within days, Wheeler said, the administration will issue a proposed rollback of Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards, while a new version of the Clean Power Plan could be released to the public in as little as one month.