Trump to name coal lobbyist as deputy EPA chief: report
© Getty Images

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 (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense: Biden participates in NATO summit | White House backs 2002 AUMF repeal | Top general says no plans for airstrikes to help Afghan forces after withdrawal Top Republican proposes leaving 1,000 US troops in Afghanistan into next year The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby - Biden floats infrastructure, tax concessions to GOP 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Wheeler has experience working as an EPA staffer before working as a Republican staffer on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He now co-leads the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels's energy and natural resources practice. 

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.