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Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday named Andrew Wheeler, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as the state's secretary of natural resources.

Why it matters: Wheeler rolled back many of the regulations intended to address climate change during his tenure as an EPA administrator. He also faced criticism for attributing increased wildfires in California to forest management.

  • He previously served as a special assistant in EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Toxics office during the George W. Bush administration.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Andrew Freedman: Wheeler is a Washington insider, having worked on Capitol Hill and K street prior to running the EPA. While at the agency, he presided over numerous rollbacks of environmental regulations, from relaxing auto fuel economy standards to changing methane regulations for oil and gas infrastructure.

  • He also expressed doubts about mainstream climate science findings, dismissing the National Climate Assessment, which the EPA contributed to, as too reliant on "worst-case scenarios."

What they're saying: "Virginia needs a diverse energy portfolio in place to fuel our economic growth," Youngkin said in a statement.

  • Wheeler shares "my vision in finding new ways to innovate and use our natural resources to provide Virginia with a stable, dependable, and growing power supply," Youngkin added.
  • He "brings extensive experience and passion to the administration, dedicating his career to advancing sound environmental policies."

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
24 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

First look: Senators propose bill to ban corporate PACs

Sens. Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly. Photos: Chip Somodevilla (left), Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) will soon propose a bill prohibiting for-profit corporations from establishing and managing political action committees, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The introduction of "The Ban Corporate PACs Act" comes amid heightened scrutiny on Capitol Hill regarding money in politics, including efforts to bar companies from influencing political campaigns and federal elections. It would likely face a court challenge and First Amendment concerns.

2 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: YouTube shuts down two Oath Keepers channels

Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers. (Photo: Aaron C. Davis/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

YouTube has deactivated two channels linked to the Oath Keepers militia group whose members have been charged in relation to the January 6 Capitol riot, the company told Axios.

The big picture: Social media platforms that were used to plan or promote the Capitol attack have moved with varying degrees of speed to bar the accounts involved.

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