September 21st, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Business, Environment

In Election Year, Treasurer Ted Wheeler Takes up Environmental Fight

When Oregon Attorney General John Kroger vowed to become a major environmental champion during his winning 2008 campaign, some observers saw it as another sign that Kroger's future political ambitions stretch beyond the AG's office to governor.

Now another state official often mentioned as a potential future gubernatorial candidate—Treasurer Ted Wheeler—is also taking up the mantle of environmental protection.

Wheeler is in the middle of an election-year fight against state Sen. Chris Telfer (R-Bend). And International Business Times is reporting that Wheeler and other state treasurers from around the country are calling on the EPA to adopt stiffer rules on toxic coal-ash disposal after a catastrophic 2008 spill in Tennessee. Wheeler and those other institutional investors manage more than $240 billion in assets.

"The group highlighted the financial assurance requirement in the proposed regulations as a critical measure to assist shareholders in understanding the financial risks associated with coal ash," International Business Times reports.

Wheeler was chairman of Multnomah County before Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed him state treasurer in March after the death of Treasurer Ben Westlund. Wheeler won a primary-election challenge from state Sen. Rick Metsger (D-Welches) and now faces Telfer in a bid to finish the final two years of Westlund's term.
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