Appalachian Voices calls on Gov.-elect Youngkin to withdraw Wheeler’s nomination as Natural Resources secretary


Dan Radmacher, (540) 798-6683,

On Wednesday, Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin announced his intention to appoint former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as Virginia’s next Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources.

While at EPA, Wheeler led a well-documented assault on environmental protections, aligning his agenda with the priorities of some of the country’s biggest polluters. For example, Wheeler proposed rollbacks to existing limits on carbon pollution and sought to undermine limits on mercury emissions from power plants. He proposed to weaken clean vehicle standards, worsening the top source of climate pollution in the U.S. and leading to a higher cost of living for many Americans.

Wheeler also oversaw rewrites of clean water regulations that would leave hundreds of thousands of surface waters unprotected and weaken states’ authority to block projects that threaten their water quality. He attempted to cut brownfield restoration programs and sought to reduce the expertise of his own agency by driving scientists out and undermining their research.

“Based on his egregious record as EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler is unfit to serve as Virginia’s next Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources,” said Tom Cormons, executive director of Appalachian Voices. “The person selected for this position must have a demonstrated commitment to conserving our precious natural heritage, reducing toxic and climate-warming pollutants, and promoting environmental justice.”


Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a healthy environment and just economy in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to a clean energy future.