With Democrats now in control of Congress, President Bush on April 11 said he has withdrawn the nomination of William L. Wehrum Jr. to lead the Environmental Protection Agency office in charge of regulating air pollution.
Wehrum, who held senior positions in EPA’s air and radiation office, was nominated to be assistant administrator for that unit in February 2006. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved him in April, but the full Senate failed to act before the 109th Congress ended. Wehrum had supporters, such as former environment panel Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.). But environmental groups and their congressional supporters, such as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), opposed Wehrum’s nomination.
Wehrum continued as the air office’s acting head, and Bush renominated him to be assistant administrator in January. But with Democrats in the Senate majority and Boxer the environment committee’s chairwoman, his chances of confirmation had diminished.