Years ago I was at a party where I didn’t know most of the people. I started some small talk with a young guy, smartly dressed in a good suit.
“What do you do?” I asked.
“I’m an environmental lawyer,” he told me.
“Ah. Fighting the polluters,” I said.
“No,” he smiled. “Defending them.”
Meet Bill Wherum.
Well, not the same guy. But he could have been.
Then there is Loreen Targos.
Loreen Targos came by Hitting Left this past week.
Loreen is an award winning scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency. Targos helped oversee the restoration of the wetlands contaminated by oil spills at the Zephyr Oil Refinery in Muskegon, Michigan.
When the EPA decided to give her an award for her efforts on July 10 she stayed on the stage and unfurled a banner in support of EPA workers and their union. Targos is also an organizer for AFGE Local 704.
This morning it was announced that the EPA’s Inspector General will be doing an ethics investigation of Bill Wehrum.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general will investigate allegations that William L. Wehrum, the agency’s former air quality chief, violated ethics rules when he met with former clients from his days as a lawyer and lobbyist for the oil, gas and coal industries.
The inquiry will look into whether Mr. Wehrum’s efforts at the E.P.A. to weaken climate change and air pollution standards improperly benefited those former clients, a congressional aide said.
At issue are Mr. Wehrum’s ties to the Utility Air Regulatory Group, a coalition of utilities and trade groups that lobbies on behalf of coal-fired power plants, which he represented as a lawyer at his former firm, Hunton & Williams.
When Wehrum was the agency’s assistant administrator for air and radiation, he was the guy behind the rollbacks of key climate change and air pollution regulations, including weakening Obama-era regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from automobile tailpipes and methane from oil and gas wells.
When you hear that some scientists say that we have about a dozen years to save the planet, Wehrum is the guy who is working on shortening the time line.
It’s a good thing we have Loreen.