(WISCONSIN) — Today, Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Philip Shulman released the following statement in response to EPA Secretary Andrew Wheeler’s visit to Wisconsin:
“Despite COVID-19 cases continuing to break records in Wisconsin, Trump continues to defy the guidance of public health experts by sending his cronies to our state.. It’s no wonder that Trump, who claimed global warming was a hoax created by the Chinese, would appoint Andrew Wheeler to head the Environmental Protection Agency. As the Administrator of the EPA, Wheeler has systematically dismantled protections that keep our water clean and our air breathable while also undermining key efforts to fight climate change. As a state with a proud outdoorsman tradition, Trump and Wheeler’s attacks on the environment will be met with a fierce backlash in November.”
Under Wheeler’s watch, the EPA has continued to roll back significant regulations meant to slow down climate change.
New York Times: “The Trump administration is expected in the coming days to lift Obama-era controls on the release of methane, a powerful climate-warming gas that is emitted from leaks and flares in oil and gas wells.”
Wheeler is heading to Marinette, near the shores of Lake Michigan. But while Trump campaigned on protecting the Great Lakes, in reality his administration has repeatedly tried to slash funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
TRUMP: “We will also work to restore and protect the Great Lakes. We are going to become … We are going to become a rich nation again.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Grand Rapids MI, 10/31/16]
New York Times: “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program for restoring the ecosystem of the Great Lakes, was first implemented by the Obama administration in 2010… Mr. Trump requested no funding at all for the initiative in his 2018 budget request, effectively eliminating the program, though Congress ended up appropriating nearly $300 million. His latest budget proposes a 90 percent cut to the program, reducing funding to $30 million.”
Wheeler has a history of misleading Wisconsinites about the Trump administration’s record on fighting pollution. During his visit to Wisconsin in June, Wheeler touted improved pollution standards that were only possible because he fudged the numbers.
Inside Climate News: “But the declaration, made Tuesday by Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler in the last of three tours of swing states so far this month, reveals much about the administration’s strategy for putting a green veneer on its record of relentlessly rolling back environmental protections. By redrawing a line on a map to exclude a shoreline air monitor with high pollution readings—a move that was urged by Wisconsin Republican state leaders—Wheeler was able to announce that the newly created ‘inland’ Sheboygan air monitoring zone met the federal ozone standard.”