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After Praising Pruitt’s Resignation, Left Insists Andrew Wheeler Is Worse

The conclusion of the Left: Wheeler has all of the same environmental positions as Pruitt, but he’s much smarter at navigating Beltway politics. This is reason to be terrified.


Democrats’ joy was short lived on Thursday. After President Trump announced that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt was resigning after an intense political pressure campaign, he tweeted that Deputy Andrew Wheeler would take on the role.

Wheeler shares many of the Pruitt’s policy views and was confirmed as deputy in April with only three Democratic votes. As with Pruitt, many on the Left find his views on climate change and environmental regulation disheartening. Similar to how many on the Left mourned Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, environmental agencies and liberal commentators took to Twitter to express their dread of the new administrator of the EPA.

The Natural Resources and Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental advocacy group, tweeted that Wheeler was just as nefarious and ill informed as Pruitt, but much more capable. The headline of the article reads “Who is Andrew Wheeler (And Why You Should Be Afraid Of Him).”

Wheeler is Pruitt’s “ideological twin,” just with more “political savvy” according to the article.

Rep. Donald McEachin tweeted an Environmental Defense Fund article. The article warns that those who breathed a sigh of relief at Pruitt’s departure should hold their breath for Wheeler’s upcoming tenure. The article repeats similar refrains: Wheeler is a carbon copy of Pruitt, just with more Washington connections.

The well-known Sierra Club tweeted its own ominous profile of Wheeler, accusing him of not “technically” breaking ethics standards during his nomination but still breaking them in spirit.

Salon reporter Shira Tarlo tweeted out the NRDC’s article, calling Wheeler a “coal lover” who has worked for a “fierce climate change denier.”

The mother who went viral for confronting Pruitt at a restaurant with her toddler in her arms said she felt “unrestrained glee” after Pruitt’s resignation that was quickly put out by Wheeler’s replacement.

David Roberts, a reporter for Vox covering environmental issues, says Pruitt’s resignation is “no happy ending” and that the only way there will be one is if someone unseats Trump in 2020. Wheeler’s policy will be as “horrific” as Pruitt’s was.

MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes implied that Wheeler would be as bad for the environment’s health as tobacco is for the human body.

AJ+, a media division of Al-Jazeera, broke the news of Wheeler’s  new gig with a GIF of Ice Cube looking bewildered and irritated.

Alexander Kaufman of the Huffington Post compared the transition to “switching deck chairs on the environmental Titanic.”

The conclusion: Wheeler has all of the same environmental positions as Pruitt, but he’s much smarter at navigating Beltway politics. This is reason to be terrified.

It’s as if they expect a Republican president to appoint people who will carry out Democratic policies, and believe that Republican conservation policies are not merely strategies that some people think are more effective of accomplishing mutual goals, but evilly intended earth destruction plans. That’s a pretty offensive, mean-spirited assumption, but apparently it’s widespread on one side of the political aisle.