WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Thursday on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and West Virginia’s senators will be voting differently on the nomination.
The Senate voted Wednesday 52-46 to end debate on the nomination, with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voting in favor and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., opposing the motion.
Wheeler has been serving as acting administrator since July 2018 following the resignation of Scott Pruitt. His previous experience includes lobbying on behalf of the coal industry and serving as an advisor to Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a skeptic of climate change.
Both Capito and Manchin voted in April 2018 to confirm Wheeler as deputy administrator.
Manchin said Wednesday the nominee has not shown he is willing to protect environmental standards.
“Today, I voted against him to be the permanent Administrator of the EPA because as Acting Administrator, he 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 that are directly impacting West Virginians, both concerns that I have raised with him,” Manchin said in a press release.
The senior senator serves as ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Capito press secretary Kelley Moore said Wednesday the junior senator plans to vote Thursday in favor of the nomination.
Republican Susan Collins of Maine told reporters she will vote against the nomination.