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Welcome to FreedomWorks’ latest blog series, Trump Appointee of the Week! From now until Election Day, we will highlight one of President Trump’s political appointees and their accomplishments. Check back every other week for the next edition and let us know who you want to see named the next Trump Appointee of the Week!
FreedomWorks is proud to announce that its latest Trump Appointee of the Week is EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. Wheeler was elevated to acting Administrator upon the resignation of Scott Pruitt in July 2018. He was nominated by President Trump to be permanent administrator of the EPA in November of that same year and confirmed in February 2019.
Wheelers certainly had his work cut out for him upon assuming his position. The Obama-era EPA imposed a regulatory agenda so burdensome, it created costs that surpassed all other agencies. The Obama EPA had accounted for 187 finalized regulations, totaling just over $344 billion in regulatory costs, and almost 33 million paperwork hours to do so. Cutting regulatory red tape would be a taller task for Administrator Wheeler than perhaps any other appointee.
Yet, in the two-plus years that he has been administrator, Wheeler has risen to the task. In that short amount of time, the administration has reversed an even one hundred environmental regulations. They’ve also implemented a number of rules increasing transparency at the agency for the American people.
Perhaps the most obnoxious regulations of the Obama era to go by the wayside under Wheeler are the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Those regulations drastically increased costs for both automakers and consumers. Because of that, they actually shifted demand to older, less fuel efficient vehicles. Like almost any attempt at central planning, Administrator Wheeler recognized these regulations were horribly counter-intuitive.
The EPA also suffered from an embarrassing lack of transparency prior to Wheeler’s tenure as Administrator. Any school aged science or math student knows that in order for any findings to be worth their salt, they must be replicable and they must have a published methodology. For years, the EPA has burdened the American people with regulations they did not have to justify with any sort of public methodology. Administrator Wheeler is implementing rules cutting back on this “secret science” of government bureaucrats.
The deregulatory actions have saved American taxpayers millions, and they are not at all limited to what’s been discussed in this piece. They range widely from air to land to sea and many more. Given the immense burden imposed by previous administrations, there is still plenty of work to be done. Public servants like Administrator Wheeler getting the proverbial deregulatory snowball rolling have been invaluable in this effort.
We are thankful for people like Andrew Wheeler being willing to take power out of the hands of unelected bureaucrats in DC, and put it in the hands of the free market and the American people. This is the type of leadership we need and is why we are proud to name him as our latest Trump Appointee of the Week.