Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is a crucial vote in the face of the Trump administration’s disastrous position on climate change. Acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, is due for a confirmation vote as administrator for the agency this February. However, in his recent Senate hearings, Wheeler refused to call climate change a “crisis” and reminded everyone that he would continue to dismantle regulations that were put in place to keep the air clean, the water drinkable, and commercial products free of lead.

If his responses in these hearings were of any concern, then his resume is downright chilling. In addition to lobbying for the anti-renewables Murray Energy Corp., Wheeler served as vice president of the Washington Coal Club, a federation of more than 300 coal producers, lawmakers and business leaders with the purpose of preserving the success of the dying and dirty coal industry at any and all costs.

With recent scientific climate reports sparing no truths, it is abundantly and overwhelmingly clear that immediate and unprecedented action needs to occur to combat climate change, lest we cause irreparable damage to Earth’s ecosystem. Back in April, we saw Maine’s senators split on the vote to confirm Wheeler as deputy administrator of the EPA, with Angus King, an independent, voting “no” and Collins, a Republican, voting “yes.”

However, Collins will have a second chance to stand up to President Donald Trump’s anti-science, anti-environment nominee. Our window to reduce carbon emissions and slow climate change so that the planet will continue to be habitable within the foreseeable future is shrinking, and with the health and well-being of future generations on the line, it is a must that our senators vote “no” on Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation.

Karl Lackner


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