Nomination of acting EPA head Wheeler moves to full Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 (KAP’-ih-toh) 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.

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