Bill Wehrum, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation and a former industry lawyer, continued to meet with fossil fuel interests regulated by the agency, according to five months of scheduling records from 2018 obtained by Documented.
While the EPA makes some calendars for senior staff publicly available, including Wehrum’s schedule, the records obtained provide more detailed information on the meetings, highlighting attendees and meeting topics.
The calendar entries obtained by Documented can be viewed here. Below are some highlights from the July through November records:
- Wehrum gave a speech to the National Mining Association, a trade association that represents coal companies including Murray Energy, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal Corporation, Cloud Peak Energy, Inc., as well as his old law firm Hunton and Williams. He also met with Usibelli Coal Mine and two front groups for the coal industry, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and Lignite Energy Council. Last August, Wehrum’s department attempted to ease coal pollution regulations with a proposed replacement of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. His schedule also details a meeting with utility company Xcel energy regarding the rule replacement.
- Wehrum heads the department that helped shape a new rule to roll back Obama-era vehicle fuel standards. His schedule details meetings and phone calls with automakers including Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, and Honda. He also met with trade associations representing companies affected by the rule, including his former client, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).
- Wehrum met with Fitzgerald Trucks, the largest glider truck manufacturer in the United States, regarding glider kits. The company was handed a major win on Pruitt’s last day as EPA administrator when EPA granted a loophole to allow more pollution from glider trucks. The records also include a meeting with the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA).
- In September 2018, Wehrum met with energy lobbyist Mike McKenna of MWR Strategies and Bob Meyers of Crowell & Moring LLP about “permitting a power plant up in New York State.” The entry does not detail the client who sought the permit, however, McKenna filed a federal lobbying disclosure form outlining “energy issues” with the EPA for Competitive Power Ventures, which announced commercial operation at its Wawayanda, NY power plant in October 2018.
- By comparison, Wehrum only had a handful of meetings with clean energy, environmental and health organizations, including the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Wind Energy Association and the National Climate Coalition.