President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, told senators Wednesday he believes climate change is real, but doesn’t consider it the biggest crisis facing the planet. This is Andrew Wheeler being questioned by Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders at his Senate confirmation hearing.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Mr. Wheeler, President Trump has indicated his belief that climate change is a hoax, perhaps perpetrated by the Chinese. Do you agree?”
Andrew Wheeler: “Well, I believe that climate change is real. I believe that man has an impact on it. And”—
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “President has said that climate change is a hoax. Do you agree with him?”
Andrew Wheeler: “I have not used the 'hoax' word myself.”
Wheeler has been the acting head of the EPA since Scott Pruitt resigned in July amid an onslaught of financial and ethics scandals. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for Murray Energy, the nation’s largest underground coal mining company. We’ll have more on Andrew Wheeler after headlines.