I’ve been meaning to post this video of the September 14 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, and specifically of several Democratic members ripping the you-know-what out of Trump’s corrupt, coal-lobbyist EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler.
For more background on Wheeler, see here, including his wildly false claim that the climate crisis isn’t an “existential threat” (which of course it is!); the fact that he is – and no, this is not parody – “Vice President of the Washington Coal Club” (WTF???); his refusal to “raise environmental standards for fine soot pollution”; his weakening of mercury regulations; etc. In short, Wheeler was one of the worst, if not the worst, EPA administrator in history. So it’s not at all surprising that Wheeler would oppose a 5-cents-per-plastic-bag tax, which the Fairfax County Board overwhelmingly approved on 9/14. Wheeler’s arguments against the tax – see the video, below – are beyond asinine, of course.
Fortunately, other than right-wingnut Republican Pat Herrity (who spewed out a bunch of lies), all the other Fairfax County Board members care about the environment and aren’t anti-environment extremists like Wheeler and Herrity, so the measure passed 9-1. As an added bonus, we got to watch several Board members call out Wheeler’s idiocy. Thanks very much to Supervisors James Walkinshaw, Dalia Palchik and John Foust specifically for ripping Wheeler a proverbial “new one” on this. See below the video for highlights!
Supervisor James Walkinshaw: “First, I would not typically criticize a speaker by name, but Mr. Wheeler is a very prominent figure and he’s certainly faced harsher criticism than he’ll hear from me. But I can’t allow his comments to go unresponded to. He claimed that during his tenure he made improvements in the environment. And I would say, if we could substitute ‘destroy’ for the word ‘improve,’ he’d be right on. Except those aren’t my words, those are the words of Republican former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman. Another Republican former EPA administrator described his work like this – ‘there has been nothing like an administration on the environment in the last 50 years to compare with the dereliction that characterizes this administration….So Mr. Wheeler’s tenure at the EPA was a *disaster* from an environmental perspective, and I would recommend for us on this Board if Mr. Wheeler says we should turn right on an environmental issue, we should turn left. If he says we should go down, we should go up. If we says we should do x, we should do y. And that will help guide us, I think, tonight.”
Supervisor Dalia Palchik: “I too was a little concerned about the speaker…He’s vice president of the Washington Coal Club, so I think what we’re hearing tonight was not in alignment with those of us who are really dedicated to the environment.”
Supervisor John Foust: “To even suggest that Andrew Wheeler is credible. My recollection is he was working with Senator Inhofe when Senator Inhofe ‘proved’ to the world that there was no global warming by bringing a snowball to a Senate hearing. I mean, this is what we’re dealing with. The world is facing so many challenges on an environmental basis, and former coal lobbyists like Mr. Wheeler are going around misrepresenting and misleading people for very selfish reasons. It’s just wrong.”