It was announced on Wednesday that President Trump has formally nominated Andrew Wheeler to be EPA administrator.  The nomination was expected after President Trump announced his intentions in November.  It is unclear how long it will take to confirm Wheeler.

Wheeler is already running EPA in an acting capacity and the Senate is dealing with an ongoing government shutdown and then needs to fill other high-profile positions in the Department of Defense, Justice and Interior.  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing with Wheeler before advancing his nomination.

Democrats are likely to attack Wheeler for his aggressive efforts to undo Obama-era environmental  regulations. But his scandal-free tenure as acting EPA administrator will most likely deprive Democrats of many of the same sort of ethics complaints they made against his predecessor, Scott Pruitt.  Wheeler seems guaranteed to have the votes to pass.  All Senate Republicans voted to confirm him as deputy as did Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.VA).

Since his ascension to acting administrator Wheeler has released proposals scaling back climate rules and mercury limits for coal-fired power plants, emissions standards for cars and trucks, and guidelines for which waterways are subject to federal regulations.


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