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Trump Transition Team Arrives at EPA

Analysts said that activity at the agency would likely stagnate as forthcoming political appointees take their posts and become acclimated to the EPA.

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The transition from President Obama to President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly underway at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bloomberg reported this week that the agency informed staff Monday that Trump's transition staff had arrived.

The report noted that the transition process was far behind the pace set by the incoming Obama administration in 2008, but some observers argued that the process mirrored previous transitions and that Trump's staff still had plenty of time before the inauguration.

Still, analysts said that activity at the agency would likely stagnate as forthcoming political appointees take their posts and become acclimated to the EPA.

“When the political people leave at EPA, there aren’t many people left in the immediate office of the administrator, unlike other cabinet departments with executive secretariats,” Rick Otis, a former EPA official under George W. Bush, told the publication.

Others, meanwhile, noted that the incoming administration is more likely to evaluate existing rules than to propose new regulations.

Environmental advocates remain worried about what the Trump administration could mean for the Obama administration's environmental legacy and the EPA overall.

During the campaign, Trump vowed to scrap the Clean Power Plan, Paris climate agreement and other regulations he perceived to be overly burdensome to businesses.

After the election, he conceded "there is some connectivity" between human activity and climate change and indicated that he has "an open mind" about the issue.

But so far, the only name to surface in the EPA transition is Myron Ebell, a think tank director and prominent critic of mainstream climate science.

Meanwhile, speculation is ramping up that Trump could soon announce his pick to lead the agency.

He reportedly met with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and former Texas environmental official Kathleen Hartnett White at Trump Tower on Monday.

“The president-elect and his team have done a lot of outreach to the Hill and industry,” Dimitri Karakitsos, former senior counsel for the Senate Environment Committee, told Bloomberg. “There’s a lot going on, and every day seems like something new. Also, it’s a matter of how you prioritize, not to say the EPA isn’t significant.”

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