EPA Chief May Have Violated Ethics Rules By Lifting Coal Plant Restrictions - Watchdog

EPA Chief May Have Violated Ethics Rules by Lifting Coal Plant Restrictions - Watchdog

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th April, 2019) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler may have committed an ethics violation by approving a proposed rule that he may have lobbied for as a lobbyist for Murray Energy, watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said in a press release.

"Wheeler, in his role as Acting EPA Administrator, signed off on a proposed rule that could reverse prior EPA actions taken to regulate emissions from coal- and oil-fired electric utilities, a policy issue on which he appears to have lobbied on behalf of his former client Murray Energy," the release said on Tuesday. "As a result of his apparent lobbying, Wheeler should have recused from participating in the proposed rule for two years after he was appointed to the EPA on April 20, 2018.

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CREW filed the complaint earlier on Tuesday with the EPA's Office of the Inspector General to address these concerns, the release said. Wheeler participated in the signing of the proposed rule on December 27, 2018, less than a year after he was appointed as the acting chief of the agency on April 20, 2018, the release pointed out.

Environmentalists have said they object to Wheeler because of his past work as a lobbyist for the coal industry.

Wheeler was nominated by President Donald Trump to lead the EPA in early January. He replaced Scott Pruitt who resigned in the light of multiple ethics allegations against him.

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