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Trump To Tap Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler For Permanent Role

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Trump To Tap Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler For Permanent Role
The President made the announcement during a Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House Friday.
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In a surprise announcement, President Donald Trump said Friday he's going to nominate acting Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler as the agency's permanent chief. 

"He's done a fantastic job and I want to congratulate him. EPA Andrew Wheeler, congratulations Andrew," Trump said. 

Wheeler was tapped to temporarily lead the agency after the EPA's former head, Scott Pruitt, resigned amid multiple investigations into his spending and ethics.

He started at the EPA during the Bush administration, and also spent years as an energy attorney and coal lobbyist. 

For that reason, environmental groups have criticized Wheeler's appointment. They've also criticized the EPA's rollback of certain air pollution regulations under President Trump.

Wheeler will still have to pass a Senate confirmation vote before officially taking over. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN