Saturday, July 22, 2017

Trump to tap longtime coal lobbyist for EPA’s No. 2 spot

President Trump will nominate a prominent coal lobbyist and former Senate aide, Andrew Wheeler, to serve as the Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy administrator, according to two senior administration officials. Wheeler, a principal at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, is a lobbyist for coal giant Murray Energy and served as a top aide for Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) when Inhofe chaired the Senate Environment Committee. He has represented Murray Energy — whose chief executive, Bob Murray, is a prominent supporter of the president — since 2009. In addition to tapping Wheeler, according to the officials, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is preparing to pick three conservatives to head three key divisions within the agency. Trump will nominate Bill Wehrum as associate administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, Matt Leopold to serve as EPA general counsel and David Ross as assistant administrator for Office of Water. [How Sen. James M. Inhofe is helping shape Trump’s energy policies] Wheeler and EPA officials declined to comment Friday. The fact that Wheeler was likely to be nominated was first reported by Axios Friday. The news of these appointments is likely to cheer those who criticized how the agency operated under President Barack Obama — and anger environmentalists. Wheeler has been an outspoken critic of nationwide limits on greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as scientific bodies such as the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change...more

No comments: