Senator Susan Collins of ME was the lone Republican to vote against the nomination. It's not yet clear whether other Republican senators will join Collins.
The Renewable Fuels Association has spoken out to congratulate Wheeler on his Senate confirmation.
Five Republican senators from oil states, led by Ted Cruz of Texas, sent a letter to Wheeler dated February 11 asking about his biofuels policies, and saying their confirmation votes could hinge on his responses. The Senate approved his appointment for that post on April 12, 2018 by a vote of 53 to 45. She opposed Pruitt's nomination but, like Manchin, previously voted to confirm Wheeler as the agency's No. 2 official.
A bipartisan group of senators has also pressured Wheeler to take stronger actions to control a group of toxic chemicals found in some USA drinking water known as PFAS, used in Teflon and firefighting foam. Both said they were concerned about Wheeler's record at the EPA, Collins because of his environmental rollbacks, and Manchin because he said Wheeler has not acted fast enough to limit coal-related toxic chemicals being spilled in West Virginia waterways. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"It shouldn't be hard to understand: a former coal lobbyist has no business running the Environmental Protection Agency".
Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a Washington insider with years of experience working as a congressional staffer, was nominated by Trump in January to permanently replace Scott Pruitt, who resigned in July after widespread criticism for alleged ethical missteps. Regulatory proposals to replace the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule to cut carbon pollution from power plants, and to revise the 2015 Waters of the US rule, which sought to safeguard drinking water for millions of Americans, shows that Wheeler "is serious about clear air and clear water while also understanding there's an important role for states and local communities to play", Barrasso said. Va., who supported Wheeler's nomination as deputy past year, voted against his promotion.
In a statement Wednesday announcing her decision, Collins said Wheeler is "certainly qualified" but that she has "too many concerns with the actions during his tenure as acting administrator to be able to support his promotion". Wheeler "hasn't demonstrated a desire or a will to make any meaningful progress on clean drinking water standards and has rolled back clean air standards", he said.
Like Collins, Manchin also said he was concerned at EPA's attempt to undo rules created to limit emissions of mercury, which can damage the brains of infants and young children.
The world has warmed more than 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial levels, and a United Nations report last fall concluded that humans need to cut their carbon emissions almost in half over the coming decade to stave off the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.