In a press release on Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the departure of Bill Wehrum, the controversial assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. And Wehrum’s environmental record has been so abysmal that according to HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery, a climate change activist/expert was dancing with joy in response to the news of his departure from the EPA.
Bendery didn’t mean “dancing” as a figure of speech. On Twitter, Bendery reported on Wednesday that according to a source, the activist — who she didn’t mention by name — was “literally” dancing after learning that Wehrum was leaving the EPA.
As president, Donald Trump has been highly critical of President Barack Obama’s environmental record — trumpeting his love of fossil fuels and insisting that EPA standards were much too severe under Obama’s watch. Wehrum, after being appointed to the EPA, played a key role in rolling back Obama-era environmental policies. And his departure comes in response to allegations of ethics violations. Wehrum’s critics allege that after joining the EPA, he promoted the interests of former clients in the energy sector.
A source tells me a climate change expert in DC was dancing in the halls just now, literally, at this news. https://t.co/R2jNuX2orG
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) June 26, 2019
In an official statement, Noah Bookbinder — executive director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics — asserted, “While not the biggest name to face ethics problems in the Trump Administration, William Wehrum was emblematic of the Administration’s struggles to remain ethical. From almost the moment he took over the EPA, Wehrum appears to have been working to advance the interests of his former clients, apparently violating both his ethics agreement and the Trump Administration’s ethics pledge.”
HuffPost’s Alexander C. Kaufman, in a June 26 article, cites some example of the alleged conflicts of interest on Wehrum’s part — for example, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce is investigating the allegation that Wehrum and a top deputy used their positions in the EPA to help utility companies they had represented when they were with the law firm now known as Hunton Andrews Kurth (which was Hunton & Williams at the time).
Also, Kaufman reports, Wehrum met with the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG), a former client known for aggressively promoting fossil fuels. That organization, which disbanded in May, was funded by several companies that opposed stricter limits on pollution caused by coal-fired plants.
Rep. Frank Pallone, the New Jersey Democrat who now heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is glad to see Wehrum go — describing his departure as “welcome news.”
“Much like UARG suddenly dissolving in the face of scrutiny,” Pallone told HuffPost, “Wehrum is now suddenly leaving amidst investigations into his potential ethical misconduct — investigations that should and will continue.”
WATCH: Trump looks on as Turkey’s Erdo?an denies the Armenian Genocide ever occurred
President Donald Trump looked on as Turkish President Recep Erdo?an denied the Armenian Genocide during a joint press conference at the White House.
Trump allowed Erdo?an's visit despite Turkey's ethnic cleansing of America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria.
Onlookers were shocked that Erdo?an did this in front of the president and multiple Republican senators.
From the White House, Erdogan is ranting about the Armenian Genocide, saying it didn’t happen and that he wants to set up a “history commission.”
Veteran ex-Trump supporter: ‘Real veterans who remember their oath will support impeachment’
In an op-ed published in The Times of Israel this Wednesday, an Army veteran who has since renounced his support of President Trump accused the President of being "unpatriotic."
According to David Weisman, "real veterans who remember their oath will support impeachment."
"When I first got into politics, as I have mentioned numerous times, I thought the Republican Party was the party of upholding the Constitution and ethical principles," Wesiman writes. "I took the word of pundits thinking Republicans stood for truth, justice, and the American way. I never questioned their integrity when they condemned President Obama. Why? Because they were religious and it didn’t occur to me they would lie. Years later, if you are aware of my story, I learned that most of the demonizing of President Obama was propaganda. I’ve also learned to read the fine print of the Constitution because there’s more involved than just the right of free speech and the right to bear arms. Lots of nuance to acknowledge."
WATCH: Trump whines to Turkish president he only takes questions from ‘friendly reporters’
In a press conference Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, President Donald Trump openly reminded that he only takes questions from people on his side.
"Would you like to pick somebody?" Trump asked Erdo?an after taking a question from the far-right OANN. "A friendly person from Turkey, please. Friendly. Only friendly reporters. There aren’t too many of them around."
Trump has increasingly refused to take questions from reporters who ask him actual questions that he both knows the answer to and will make him look good.
The White House hasn't hosted a "daily press briefing" for 247 days and not at all under the new press secretary, Stephanie Grisham. She has, however, had time to appear on Fox News multiple times to speak for the White House.