Trump says will name EPA's acting chief to post permanently

Trump says will make acting EPA head Wheeler permanent

President Donald Trump signaled plans to nominate Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler as the permanent EPA administrator at a White House event on Friday.

Wheeler took the reins at EPA after former administrator Scott Pruitt resigned in July following a slew of ethical controversies that included his first-class travel, round-the-clock security detail, and expensive office equipment.

Singling out Cabinet members in the audience at the ceremony, Trump got to Wheeler and said, "acting administrator, who I will tell you is going to be made permanent". Trump said Friday that Wheeler was doing a "fantastic job". Environmental groups quickly voiced their opposition. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a fervent denier of man-made climate change, and then for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Environmental groups have criticized Wheeler for his part work lobbying for coal companies and have criticized his work furthering Trump's agenda to roll back environmental regulations. Wheeler made clear from the start that he intends to carry out numerous regulatory rollbacks set in motion under Pruitt, and to pursue new ones.

Among these are the scrapping of anti-pollution rules for coal-fired power plants and the launch of a procedure to soften emissions standards for cars after 2025. He was referring to William Ruckelshaus, who was appointed by Richard Nixon to head the EPA in 1970 and Christine Todd Whitman, who was appointed to the post in 2001 by George W Bush. Wheeler, 53, will have to be confirmed by the Senate before he can officially take on the post.

It was not clear if Wheeler had been informed beforehand of Trump's intentions; EPA spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment. "But this is the Trump administration, where a former top coal lobbyist could become administrator of the EPA".

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