Trump’s EPA chemical safety nominee may be too toxic even for Republicans

Read the full story in The Intercept.

Massive conflicts of interest no longer stand in the way of confirmation to the Environmental Protection Agency’s highest posts, as Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s sworn enemy, demonstrated when he ascended to the agency’s top job. Last Thursday, the Senate confirmed a second highly conflicted EPA nominee, fossil fuel lobbyist Bill Wehrum, who will now oversee air pollution protections despite his clear record of working to undermine those very same protections. With only one Republican opposing Wehrum, the 49-47 vote was a reminder of how little Senate Republicans expect of those who are meant to protect us from environmental threats.

Yet Michael Dourson, the industry scientist Trump nominated to head EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, may be unable to clear even this low bar. Though the Senate’s Environment and Public Works committee voted to advance Wehrum’s and Dourson’s nominations at the same October 25 hearing, only Wehrum’s advanced to the floor of the Senate, an indication that Republicans don’t yet have the votes to confirm Dourson.

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