Coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler is reportedly President Trump's pick to be the deputy chief of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is expected to be tapped for the position in coming weeks.
Wheeler, who once served as an adviser to Republican Sen. Jim InhofeJames InhofeRepeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate GOP senator: EPA 'brainwashing our kids' A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-Okla.), is Trump's top choice to fill the position, but it is unclear when the official announcement will be made, Politico reported Thursday.
He is also a registered lobbyist for the nation's largest privately owned coal company, Murray Energy, which challenged many of former President Obama's environmental regulations in court.
The pick is in keeping with Trump's message on environmental policy and climate change so far. Scott Pruitt, the EPA's head, has close ties to the oil and gas industry, as does his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who formerly led Exxon Mobil Corp.
Trump's proposed budget released Thursday would make major cuts to climate efforts.