Wheeler to make first Hill appearance on Aug. 1

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E News reporter • Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler will make his first Capitol Hill appearance on Aug. 1 before the agency’s oversight panel.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said at a hearing today he had recently spoken with Wheeler and “he told me our committee was first on his list.”

The hearing will occur after months of turmoil at EPA culminating with the resignation of Scott Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma who triggered multiple investigations for exorbitant spending and ethical missteps.

Wheeler has already taken a different approach from Pruitt, announcing meetings and inviting press questions — all while advancing the same policy agenda Pruitt was shepherding.

When asked today about Wheeler’s performance, Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, the committee’s top Democrat, said it’s “early yet.”

Carper said he had met with Wheeler in person and spoken to him a number of times on the phone. He noted he’s seeing a “refreshing change in the attitude toward the rank-and-file employees” at the agency.

“It’s been encouraging, but we’re only a week into this,” he said.