The Trump transition team is expected to announce the heads of the Departments of Interior, Energy, and EPA during the week. A number of potential candidates have been floated for the top post at each agency, ranging from governors, to state regulators, to Congressional members, to oil and gas executives, and even two Democratic Senators.
• Interior. The shortlist for the Interior includes Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis, Washington Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Former Oklahoma House Speaker T.W. Shannon, former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and former Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell. The list of potential Interior nominees also includes a number of top oil and gas executives.
• EPA. Top EPA candidates include former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, former Texas environmental regulator Kathleen Hartnett White, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and former Bush EPA official Jeff Holmstead.
• Energy. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Wyoming Representative Cynthia Lummis and two Democratic Senators—West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp—are rumored to be at the top of the list for the next Secretary of Energy. That list also includes senior oil and gas executives like Larry Nichols, former head of Devon Energy Corp.
The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to confirm all Trump appointments, especially in light of a recent rule change requiring only a simple majority vote to confirm cabinet appointments but many of the nominees announced so far will likely face very difficult confirmation hearings. Senate Democrats have already said they would oppose nominees who question the existence of climate change or favor wholesale regulatory reform for the benefit of fossil fuel interests. On Dec. 1, 10 Senators penned a letter criticizing President-elect Trump for selecting cabinet and transition team members with “extensive ties to the fossil fuel industry.” The letter also urged Mr. Trump to reevaluate his picks for the EPA, Energy and Interior.