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President Trump will name Ohio native, Case Western graduate to head EPA

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks to staff at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters on July 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Wheeler will replace Scott Pruitt who resigned last week. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — President Trump says he will nominate an Ohio-native and Case Western Reserve University graduate to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Andrew Wheeler, a former congressional aide and lobbyist who has served as interim Acting Administrator of the EPA since July 5, when his predecessor resigned earlier this year, got President Donald Trump’s nod Friday for the permanent job.

Trump made the announcement in passing at a White House ceremony for Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees.

Singling out Cabinet members in the audience at the ceremony, Trump got to Wheeler and said, “acting administrator, who I will tell you is going to be made permanent.”

“He’s done a fantastic job and I want to congratulate him, EPA, Andrew Wheeler. Where’s Andrew?” Trump continued. “Congratulations, Andrew, great job, great job, thank you very much.”

According to his biography on the EPA’s website, Wheeler was born in Hamilton, Ohio and studied biology and english at Case Western Reserve University.  He then completed his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA at George Mason University.

He has reportedly dedicated his career to “advancing sound environmental policies.”

A veteran on Capitol Hill, Wheeler worked from 1995 to 2009 as a staffer for Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a fervent denier of man-made climate change, and then for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

He was also reportedly a Principal and the team leader of the Energy and Environment Practice Group at FaegreBD Consulting, as well as Counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels law firm, where he practiced since 2009. Wheeler also served as the co-chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Industry team across the entire firm.

Wheeler has also worked as a lobbyist, including for coal giant Murray Energy Corp., which pushed hard at the outset of the Trump administration for coal-friendly policies from the EPA and other agencies.

The White House said Trump was signaling his intent to nominate Wheeler. The nomination would require Senate confirmation.

Senators approved Wheeler as the agency’s deputy administrator in a 53-45 vote last April.

More on the EPA, here.