"The Next Head of Trump’s EPA"

"A climate-denying coal lobbyist is close to becoming the agency's deputy administrator. Why aren't Senate Democrats sounding the alarm?"

"Scott Pruitt is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, for now. According to Politico, the former Oklahoma attorney general is “interested” in becoming U.S. attorney general if Jeff Sessions leaves the administration. It’s not the first time Pruitt repotedly has eyed a higher office, whether it be a governorship, a Senate seat, or even the presidency. Pruitt has denied it all, but even so, Republican presidencies have had short-lived EPA administrators. Scandal-plagued Anne Gorsuch lasted only two years as Ronald Reagan’s EPA chief. Christine Todd Whitman and Michael Leavitt each served two years under George W. Bush.

So who takes over if Pruitt leaves? The leading contender to date is Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, EPA bureaucrat, and aide to the snowball-wielding Senator Jim Inhofe. President Donald Trump nominated Wheeler, who is currently an energy attorney, to be the EPA’s deputy administrator in October, and Wheeler faced a full Senate hearing in November. Because the Senate never voted on Wheeler’s nomination, his nomination was sent back to committee at the start of the new legislative session in January.

Wheeler’s nomination is now moving again. HuffPost’s Alex Kaufman reports that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote to advance Wheeler’s nomination on Wednesday. Soon after, Kaufman wrote, “Wheeler is likely to be confirmed in the full Senate, where the GOP holds a narrow majority.” If Wheeler is confir"

Emily Atkin reports for the New Republic February 7, 2018.


"Coal Lobbyist Hosted Fundraisers for Senators Evaluating His Nomination for Top EPA Post" (The Intercept)

"Trump’s Climate-Denying Coal Lobbyist Nominee Inches Closer To EPA’s No. 2 Job" (HuffPost)

"How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List" (New York Times)

"Trump Nominates a Coal Lobbyist to Be No. 2 at E.P.A." (New York Times)

Source: New Republic, 02/07/2018