Wheeler would take over leadership of EPA if its current administrator, Scott Pruitt, resigns or is fired. Previous year he spent a staggering $3 million on travel, and today he's reportedly protected by security force of 19 agents and a fleet of at least 19 vehicles, paid for by taxpayers, even though the EPA can't explain why Pruitt needs unprecedented protection like that.
It's possible that allegations this serious - and from a source this credible - will convince Republican lawmakers that Pruitt needs to go.
In a statement following Wheeler's nomination, Pruitt said the nominee would "bring extraordinary credentials to EPA that will greatly assist the agency as we work to implement our agenda".
A copy of the letter was also sent to the president.
"Instead of prioritizing the health of hard-working Americans, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to loosen the brunt of the polluters".
"Mr. Wheeler's former boss, our colleague Senator Inhofe, says, quote, 'there is no one more qualified.' Our former colleague Senator Lieberman has called Mr. Wheeler 'fair and professional, ' and said 'I hope his nomination will receive. fair consideration by the Senate, '" he said on the Senate floor.
Washington, D.C. (Apr. 12, 2018)-Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the former head of Trump's EPA transition team, said it's "no surprise that Pruitt doesn't have unanimous support in the White House".
Some EPA staff members are reportedly unhappy with Pruitt's ideas, claiming that it would cost the agency too much, and dropping the agency's seal would "be a breach of protocol".
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate environment panel, said Wheeler has demonstrated his commitment to sound environmental policies and has "exemplified excellence in his professional endeavors", both in government and in the private sector. Chmielewski told Democratic senators and representatives he believes he was "marginalized, removed from his senior position and placed on administrative leave" for speaking up about Pruitt's "inappropriate and unethical spending".
"Mr. Chmielewski described an environment in which you sought to marginalize, remove or otherwise retaliate against agency employees who advised you not to take these troubling actions, or refused to take or justify such actions at your direction".
Chmielewski, the lawmakers said, had laid everything on the table in a meeting with their staffs.
Pruitt also exceeded the $5,000 allowed by law to decorate his office in order to refurbish an antique desk, buy a standing desk and pay leases for art from the Smithsonian Museum, according to Chiemelewski. The disclosures have led to substantial news stories, including the public release of Pruitt's schedule and details about a $43,000 soundproof phone booth installed in his office.
For instance, Chiemelewski claims Pruitt used the "guise of security" to have his security detail purchase bulletproof vests and weapons.
Chmielewski also shed new light on Pruitt's encounters with the landlord who rented the administrator a bedroom steps away from the Capitol for almost six months in 2017.
He paid $50 per night, according to the reports, and paid only for the nights he used the condo. "Mr. Wheeler has demonstrated that he understands the mission of the EPA and the role of Congress when it comes to oversight and accountability", she said.