Wheeler has been serving as acting EPA administrator since Scott Pruitt stepped down amid ethics scandals in July. Prior to his work at the EPA, Wheeler worked as a lobbyist for the coal industry.
The outgoing interior secretary wrote his resignation letter in thick red ink. Now critics are piling on for his handwriting and his policies.
"It's going to take different leadership at the top," said Don Fox, a former acting director of the Office of Government Ethics. "And that means a different occupant in the White House."
The agency's next acting chief has drawn praise as a capable administrator. But critics still say the transition from Scott Pruitt is a bit like "going from a train wreck to a house on fire."
The aide said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt asked for help procuring a mattress while he was apartment hunting. Federal ethics rules prohibit staff from doing private work for their superiors.
Pruitt is facing a slew of allegations of excess spending and, as of this week, claims his agency sought to block a study on a suspected carcinogen. "I share your concerns," he told senators.
When Scott Pruitt served as Oklahoma's attorney general, he took over a major pollution lawsuit brought by his predecessor. Critics accuse Pruitt of inaction on the case, which remains unresolved.
California is leading a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's plan to weaken car emissions standards. EPA chief Scott Pruitt says the rules, designed to fight climate change, are too strict.
Before Scott Pruitt became the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, his political career was guided in large part by his Southern Baptist faith and a faith-based agenda.