Democratic state climate activists and lawmakers were outraged when Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s designated Andrew Wheeler to be his secretary of natural resources last week, citing concerns regarding Wheeler’s secured with the petroleum sector and his ecological proof under former President Donald Trump. Wheeler would be the state’s top environmental official as secretary of natural resources.Wheeler’s corporate ties were exposed by OpenSecrets in 2018 before he became Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, where he supervised the repeal of environmental regulations.
According to The Hill, Wheeler’s nomination would start off a difficult confirmation process, with Democratic state lawmakers concerned that he could undo climate policy and environmental safeguards championed by the former governor, Ralph Northam (D). Both chambers of the General Assembly must ratify cabinet nominations. Democrats hold a 21-to-19 majority in the State Senate, despite Republicans controlling the House of Delegates.
However, wheeler is not the only member of Youngkin’s new government with links to fossil fuel businesses and energy suppliers.In addition, the governor-elect named Richard Cullen as his legal counsel. Cullen is a former chairman and senior partner of the legal firm McGuireWoods, as well as a longtime political insider and campaign contributor to Youngkin’s. He began working for the corporation in 1977 and remained for the duration of his career, only leaving for brief intervals to serve as a U.S. attorney and Virginia’s attorney general.
According to federal lobbying reports, Cullen’s firm earned more than $2.7 ML from Dominion Energy between 1998 and 2021, despite the fact that he has not actively lobbied for any mining, energy, oil, or gas corporations.