WASHINGTON Feb 15 Staff at the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency have been told that President
Donald Trump is preparing a handful of executive orders related
to the agency, to be signed once a new administrator is
confirmed, two sources who attended the meeting told Reuters on
The sources, who asked not to be named, said a senior EPA
official who had been briefed by members of the Trump
administration mentioned the executive orders at a meeting of
staffers in the EPA's Office of General Counsel on Tuesday, but
did not provide details about what the orders would say.
"It was just a heads up to expect some executive orders,
that's it," one of the sources said.
The second source said attendees at the meeting were told
Trump would sign between two and five executive orders.
Trump's pick to run the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott
Pruitt, is scheduled to face a Senate confirmation vote on
Friday, according to a Senate aide, after a contentious hearing
last month in which lawmakers pressed him on his ties to the oil
industry. Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times while he
was the top prosecutor for the oil and gas producing state.
Trump has promised to cut U.S. environmental regulation as a
way to bolster the drilling and coal mining industries, but has
vowed to do so without compromising air and water quality. He
has also expressed doubts about the science behind climate
change and promised during his campaign to pull the United
States out of a global pact to combat it.
Those positions have worried EPA staff, who are concerned
his administration will cut the EPA's budget, critical programs,
and scientific research.
A Trump administration official did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.
(Reporting by David Shepardson, Timothy Gardner, and Richard
Valdmanis; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Alan Crosby)