Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler arrives for testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Aug. 1, 2018. Win McNamee/Staff/GettyImages
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler arrives for testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Aug. 1, 2018.

Trump will nominate Andrew Wheeler to lead EPA

Wheeler took over helm at Environmental Protection Agency after Scott Pruitt ousted in July.

by Ari Natter and Jennifer A. Dlouhy

Andrew Wheeler, who has been the EPA’s acting head since the resignation of scandal-plagued Scott Pruitt, will be nominated to lead the agency, President Donald Trump said Friday. 

Trump made the remarks Friday at a medal of honor ceremony at the White House where he introduced Wheeler by saying he is going to be made permanent.

"He’s done a fantastic job and I want to congratulate him," Trump said. "Congratulations, Andrew. Great job." 

Wheeler, a former coal and energy lobbyist, took over the Environmental Protection Agency after Pruitt’s ouster in July. While Wheeler shares Trump’s agenda of environmental deregulation, he is largely seen as more methodical and deliberate. 

The Senate confirmed Wheeler as deputy administrator under Pruitt by a vote of 53-45 last April amid complaints from Democrats and environmentalists about his lobbying work for companies such as coal producer Murray Energy Corp., utility Xcel Energy Inc. and uranium miner Energy Fuels Inc. Wheeler has vowed to stay away from decisions affecting former clients. 

Trump would need to nominate Wheeler for the administrator position, though Wheeler could potentially serve as acting secretary for years with virtually no limitations on his power.

His time as acting administrator was initially limited to 210 days under a federal vacancies law. But that clock gets paused if and when Trump nominates Wheeler for the administrator job -- and it can stay that way for two years while a nomination is pending before the Senate.

--With assistance from Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Ryan Beene.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.net ;Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at jdlouhy1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net Elizabeth Wasserman

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish