Trump nominates Wheeler for EPA Deputy Administrator

President Donald Trump has announced Andrew Wheeler as his nominee for EPA Deputy Administrator, the number two position at the agency.

Wheeler has an extensive background with environmental law and policy. He started his career with EPA and later worked for Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), serving as staff director on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. However, it is Wheeler’s most recent work that has caused controversy. Since 2009 he has been a lobbyist at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting where he represented companies including the Nuclear Institute, Xcel Energy and Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal company in the U.S.

No date is scheduled yet for Wheeler’s confirmation hearing, but he is expected to meet strong opposition from Senate Democrats. The Senate has yet to confirm any of Trump’s EPA nominations except Administrator Pruitt.

In September, Trump nominated David Ross to lead the EPA’s Office of Water. Ross currently serves as Wisconsin assistant attorney general and director of the Environmental Protection Unit for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. He is one of four nominees for EPA posts who have since testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), but his nomination was not as controversial as those of several others who met with tough opposition from Democratic committee members.

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