Senate confirms Trump EPA nom with oil industry ties

Michael Biesecker
Associated Press

Washington — The Senate has narrowly confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominee to a key post at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Energy industry lawyer William Wehrum is Trump’s choice to oversee regulation of air pollution sources.

His nomination was approved on a vote of 49 to 47 Thursday to serve as assistant administrator for air and radiation.

Wehrum served at EPA during under President George W. Bush. Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine joined Democrats in voting against Wehrum’s nomination. Four senators didn’t vote.

Wehrum is expected to help administrator Scott Pruitt in an ongoing push to reverse or delay Obama-era regulations, including those seeking to decrease emissions from coal-fired power plants.

His past clients include the American Petroleum Institute and other pro-fossil fuel groups he will now regulate at EPA.