Colorado Editorials

The Durango Herald: Whither Wheeler?

Author: The Durango Herald Editorial Board - July 21, 2018 - Updated: July 21, 2018

Many conservationists, environmentalists and public land advocates let out an it’s-about-time sigh of relief when Scott Pruitt resigned as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But as soon as they breathed in again, the relief disappeared.

Stepping in as acting chief is Andrew Wheeler, a lawyer with an MBA who has adroitly become an insider in both government and the fossil fuels industry, and who’s known for avoiding the limelight and efficiently getting things done.

That combination, many pundits predict, could mean that he’ll be more effective than Pruitt in continuing to carry out President Donald Trump’s deregulation campaign.

That could spell trouble for the West, including Southwest Colorado, where communities know well the downside of mining’s legacy. Deregulating mining and drilling operations leaves us all vulnerable to adding to pollution problems while we simultaneously work to clean up toxic waste from the past century and even the century before that.

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The Durango Herald Editorial Board