Wheeler cited a series of actions the agency has taken, including a revised rule that lifts protections for some of the millions of miles of streams, creeks and wetlands in the United States. The long-sought rule change to the Clean Water Act provides much needed regulatory certainty and predictability for American farmers, landowners and businesses, Wheeler said.
Similarly, he defended new rules that relax fuel efficiency standards imposed by the Obama administration and roll back President Barack Obama's signature environmental achievement, a plan to curb climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The EPA issued 18 deregulatory actions last year and is developing 45 more now, saving businesses billions of dollars in regulatory costs, Wheeler said. The actions do not come at the cost of enforcing environmental laws, he added, but are aimed at "modernizing decades-old regulations and bring them up to date.''