EPA is one step closer to having a new director

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The Senate committee with oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency narrowly approved President Trump’s nominee, Andrew Wheeler, to be the next EPA administrator.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 11-10 along party lines on Tuesday to approve President Donald Trump’s nomination of Wheeler as EPA administrator, according to PBS.

Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist and has served as EPA acting head since Scott Pruitt resigned amid ethics allegations in July.

Senate Republicans praise Wheeler for rolling back Obama-era environmental measures, saying it is good for the economy. Democrats say Wheeler is cutting environmental protections to benefit fossil fuel and other industries.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., told PBS she voted for Wheeler after he assured her the EPA would “look at all available statutory authorities” to deal with a manmade industrial contaminant hitting her state particularly hard.