A coal lobbyist and a Boeing executive are to be nominated to deputy positions at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Defense (DoD), respectively, making President Donald Trump's campaign promises to "drain the swamp" continue to look like a lot of hot air.
Andrew Wheeler, the lobbyist to be nominated as deputy EPA administrator, works for an oil and gas industry-serving law firm and is a registered lobbyist for Murray Energy, the largest privately-owned coal company in the country, according to The Hill. He also served on the staff of climate change denier Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and will join several fellow former Inhofe staffers at Scott Pruitt's EPA.
Patrick Shanahan, meanwhile, is a top Boeing executive with no military or political experience. "He is, however, familiar with defense procurement from the business side," reports the Seattle Times, which notes that Shanahan "ran Boeing's military rotorcraft division in Philadelphia for two and a half years, where he was responsible for the Apache and Chinook helicopter programs as well as the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor airplane." (On Friday, it was reported that an attack possibly from a U.S.-made Apache helicopter killed 31 Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen.)
The coal lobbyist and Boeing executive join former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and a plethora of former Goldman Sachs executives in Trump's cabinet. These latest hires continue to confirm suspicions that Trump's policy isn't so much to drain the swamp, as to fill it.
Trump's broken promises to drain the swamp weren't forgotten by observers:
Goldman Sachs, Exxon, Boeing, and big coal run our government now. https://t.co/YaZ3701uG3
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— Arden Jones (@ardenjones478) March 17, 2017
So Coal lobbyist to the EPA and Boeing VP to be second in command at Defense... how's that swamp draining going again?
— President Sanford (@DanSantheMan) March 17, 2017
"Personnel is policy," as Washington Post correspondent James Hohmann tweeted:
Personnel is policy: A coal lobbyist will be #2 at EPA, a Boeing exec will be #2 at DOD and Goldman's CEO celebrated alumni at WH/Treasury.
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) March 17, 2017