Senate environment panel okays Trump’s pick to have EPA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An essential Senate committee approved U.S. President Donald Trump’s new pick to steer the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, putting hmo’s coal lobbyist a stride closer to becoming the permanent head of America’s top environmental regulator.

Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a Washington insider with years of experience in Congress, was nominated by Trump a few weeks ago to replace Scott Pruitt, who resigned in July after widespread criticism for alleged ethical missteps.

His nomination has cheered business interests keen to discover reduced regulation, but upset Democrats and conservation groups worried that environmental rollbacks beneath Trump administration have a tendency too far.

The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works voted simply advancing Wheeler’s nomination. A full Senate vote must certainly be scheduled to complete his confirmation.

“Mr. Wheeler is doing an outstanding job because the acting administrator in the past six months,” Republican Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the committee said.

Shelley Moore Capito, Republican Senator from West Virginia said Wheeler worked to further improve transparency at the agency.

Wheeler weren’t present with the meeting.

While running EPA for an interim basis, Wheeler continued his predecessor’s efforts to strip away red tape on industry, including by weakening Obama-era rules limiting carbon and mercury emissions from power plants, and advancing an initiative to lift a summertime ban on higher ethanol blends of gasoline that’s enacted to curb smog.

During his confirmation hearing a few weeks ago, Wheeler also said he don’t believe climatic change was not an essential crisis – a stance that resonates with Trump’s skepticism but which clashes when using the scientific consensus that java prices will have devastating consequences if you are not addressed urgently.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on climatic change science, including from scientists within her own government, and features indicated his intention to withdraw using a global pact to fight it when he says could well be too costly for U.S. companies.

Wheeler – like Pruitt Held nearly 20 times more meetings with industry representatives as compared to conservationists during his first 2 months on the job, according to a copy of his schedule reviewed by Reuters.

“Most of the time, Mr. Wheeler is now further than his predecessor in rejection of important measures that will be supported by an easy list of environmentalists and industry,” Democrat Senator Tom Carper, ranking an associate the committee said in his opening remarks.