Trump official who fought for dirtier air forced to resign amid scandal


Yet another top Trump administration official is out.

Another top Trump administration official has bitten the dust. This time, it's a top official at the EPA with conflicts of interest with the dirty energy sector. 

William Wehrum, the assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation, who implemented rollbacks of Obama-era clean air regulations, is stepping down at the end of June, the administration said Wednesday. Wehrum is perhaps best known for being instrumental in weakening environmental regulations for coal-burning power plants, exposing more Americans to deadly mercury gas. 

Over the past few months Wehrum has been exposed by a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee for loosening regulations in favor of his previous fossil fuel employers. In an April letter to the companies, lawmakers said the agenda pushed by Wehrum appeared "similar to the substantive agenda advanced by a group housed at your firm." 

Wehrum's exit follows the resignation of another top Trump official, Patrick Shanahan, who stepped down as acting defense secretary after a family domestic violence scandal surfaced.

"Good riddance to yet another Trump official who has padded polluter profits instead of protecting kids' health," said the League of Conservation Voters. "At a time when the number of unhealthy air days has jumped 15%, Wehrum worked to weaken clean air protections further."

But Wehrum's exit isn't likely to slow the Trump administration's eagerness to pollute the air and waterways. 

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist himself and pollution pusher, has admitted he doesn't take advice from scientists in his own department, or read their studies about the impacts of the climate crisis. Under Wheeler, the administration has also had no qualms in allowing Monsanto to continue selling herbicide despite evidence it can cause cancer. 

Trump still has many swamp monsters willing to do his bidding. 

Published with permission of The American Independence.