Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Aug. 1, 2018, in Washington, D.C.
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Aug. 1, 2018, in Washington, D.C. - 
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Andrew Wheeler was deputy to past Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, and Wheeler has been the agency's acting administrator since July.

He is virtually certain to face questions over his past as a coal lobbyist. And his use of furloughed EPA staffers to prep him for this hearing, despite the partial government shutdown.

Senators are also expected to question him about the EPA's plans to ease carbon pollution regulations on coal plants. Given his experience at the EPA, and his support for the administration’s deregulation vision, Wheeler is expected to be confirmed by a Republican Senate.

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Follow Scott Tong at @tongscott