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Youngkin taps Trump's ex-EPA head for Virginia cabinet role

Jeffrey Rosen, Andrew Wheeler
Posted at 8:41 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 20:41:18-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Republican Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin has tapped a former coal lobbyist and Trump administration Environmental Protection Agency chief to join his cabinet in a role overseeing the state’s environmental policy.

Youngkin's transition announced Wednesday that Andrew Wheeler is his pick for secretary of natural resources.

The news sparked immediate criticism from Democrats and environmental groups.

During Wheeler’s time in the EPA’s top job, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change and moved to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

Cabinet secretaries are subject to approval by the General Assembly, which will be under split party control when it convenes next week.