Statement on Youngkin’s Selection for Secretary of Natural Resources

Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s Statement on Youngkin’s Selection for
Secretary of Natural Resources 

Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s statement on Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s selection of coal industry lobbyist and former Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to be his Secretary of Natural Resources:

“The selection of Andrew Wheeler as Secretary of Natural Resources is an insult to Virginia’s families who want and deserve a healthy future for their children. As EPA administrator, he undermined the EPA and weakened critical health protections. Wheeler’s agenda was fully in line with the fossil fuels industry’s desire to avoid accountability and its opposition to common sense efforts to address climate change. Wheeler’s EPA rolled back clean water and clean air protections, ignored and sidelined science, and recommended dangerous standards for toxic chemicals.

Virginia has made significant progress in the past few years by investing in critical water infrastructure, addressing coastal flooding, mitigating environmental injustices, and solving water pollution threats, but much still remains to be done. Wheeler’s appointment represents a huge step backwards when Virginia must move forward on its commitments to reduce pollution by 2025 under the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup Plan. 

Youngkin claimed that he supports funding agricultural best management practices, addressing polluted stormwater issues, and advancing coastal resiliency. We are ready to help advance these critical goals. However, his threat to pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the nomination of Wheeler are clearly at odds with these goals and the protection of our health and environment. Waterkeepers Chesapeake strongly opposes this appointment and calls on the General Assembly to reject this nomination.”

VCN blog on Wheeler’s record

WKC statement on Wheeler appointment