Press Release | January 5, 2022

SELC statement on Youngkin pick for Secretary of Natural Resources

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Today Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin announced his pick for Virginia’s next Secretary of Natural Resources. He is nominating Andrew Wheeler, who served as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Trump Administration.

In response to the announcement, Sarah Francisco, director of SELC’s Virginia office, released the following statement: “This nomination is extremely disappointing.  As a former head of EPA in the Trump Administration and former coal industry lobbyist, Mr. Wheeler has a record of weakening fundamental safeguards for clean water and healthy air and opposing common sense efforts to tackle climate change.   We are hoping to work with the incoming Youngkin Administration towards clean water, clean air, and a thriving, healthy future for all Virginia’s communities – goals the majority of Virginians share.  But the track record of this nominee is at odds with these priorities and sends a troubling signal.  We will stand firmly for maintaining the fundamental protections for our environment and health that benefit all Virginians.”


The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South. With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of 170, including 90 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.

Press Contacts

Tasha Durrett

Communications Manager (VA)

Phone: 434-977-4090
Email: [email protected]