Top coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler is likely to be tapped as the No. 2. official at the Environmental Protection Agency, according to two people familiar with the decision-making process.
The expected appointment for deputy EPA administrator is a turnaround from last month when the White House was poised to tap Jeff Holmstead, a former top EPA official under President George W. Bush. Holmstead is considered to be a more moderate conservative compared to Wheeler and other officials inside the Trump administration.
Why it matters: Wheeler's likely nomination shows the influence of conservatives, both inside and outside the administration, over environmental and energy policy. Wheeler has been more outspoken in questioning the science behind climate change than Holmstead.