Wheeler, 53, is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Trump named him acting director after former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was forced to resign.
In an interview this summer with the Dayton Daily News, Wheeler acknowledged “one of my clients was a coal company. I had over 20 clients, and a coal company was one of my clients.”
“I get frustrated with the media when they report I was a coal lobbyist,” he said. “Yes, I represented a coal company, but I also represented a cheese company. I represented a lot of different businesses, a lot of different interests.”
The Senate earlier this year confirmed Wheeler as deputy EPA director with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, supporting the nomination and Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, opposing him.