Sen. Tom Carper spoke Nov. 9 on the Senate floor to voice his strong opposition to the nomination of Bill Wehrum to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation.

Wehrum was nominated to the position in 2005 but failed to win Senate confirmation. Carper highlighted Wehrum’s prior work at EPA to undermine clean air protections, disregard the rule of law and actively prevent progress to rein in mercury and other toxic air pollutants.

Despite Wehrum’s record, Senate Republicans voted to confirm Wehrum by a vote of 49-47. Every Democrat, along with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted against Wehrum’s nomination.

“Mr. President, as we prepare to vote on this nominee, I implore my colleagues to take one last moment to think about the decision before them. I ask them to recall the words I said just a bit earlier this morning from that hymn my wife, Martha, and I heard at church one Sunday morning this spring: ‘For the beauty of the Earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love which from our birth over and around us lies. Lord of all, to thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise,” Carper said during his closing statement.

“That powerful message reminds me of the incredible responsibility we have in this body to serve and protect the people who sent us here. We must serve as stewards also of this planet that has been entrusted to us and care for the most vulnerable among us. For me, that is not just my responsibility as a parent or as an official elected to serve the people of my state for all these years — it is a moral imperative and a sacred obligation. And there is perhaps no more basic human need than having clean air to breathe.

“I implore my colleagues — we have already seen Mr. Wehrum’s extreme agenda at the EPA once before. It would be the height of irresponsibility and a shirking of our moral obligation to confirm him here today. I implore you — join me in voting ‘no’ on Bill Wehrum.”

You can view Carper’s floor statements on Wehrum’s record undermining Clean Air Act protections at and on Wehrum's failure to address mercury and other air toxic pollutants at