By Timothy Cama
16 January 2019
(The Hill) – Environmental protesters on Wednesday disrupted Andrew Wheeler’s Senate confirmation hearing to be the permanent head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The protesters objected to Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee scheduling the hearing, and Wheeler participating, when the EPA is closed and most employees are furloughed due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.
“I really must object to this hearing happening during a government shutdown!” a protester yelled in the committee room, standing up just as Wheeler began giving his opening remarks. Wheeler stopped talking while protesters chanted.
The protester and another held signs with photos of Wheeler that read “Shut down Wheeler, not the EPA.”
Capitol Police officers quickly removed both protesters from the Capitol Hill hearing room. But other protesters continued chanting “shut down Wheeler, not the EPA” in the hallway outside the room. [more]
By Timothy Cama
16 January 2019
(The Hill) – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a possible 2020 White House contender, on Wednesday vocally criticized acting Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler for not taking climate change seriously as a crisis.
Sanders first pushed Wheeler on whether he agrees with President Trump repeatedly calling climate change a “hoax,” pointing to the Trump’s blaming it on the Chinese at one point.
“I believe that climate change is real. I believe that man has an impact on it,” Wheeler said during his Environment and Public Works Committee confirmation hearing to be the official EPA administrator. “I have not used the ‘hoax’ word myself.”
“The scientific community has said that climate change is one of the great crises facing our planet. And if there is not unprecedented action to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, to sustainable energy and energy efficiency, there will be irreparable damage in the United States and virtually every country on earth,” Sanders told Wheeler.
“Do you agree with the scientific community?”
“I would not call it the greatest crisis, no sir. I consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally,” he responded. [more]
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