Trump still searching for next EPA administrator

SOURCE: Cutout Photo Marc Nozell - CC BY 2.02
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WDTV) - The majority of Cabinet positions haven't been filled by President-elect Donald Trump. One position in the spotlight, though, is who he''ll tap as the nation's next EPA administrator.

Right now, Trump has Myron Ebell running his EPA transition team, but Ebell's name has also popped up as a potential nominee for the top-level spot.

According to CBS News, Ebell is a climate change skeptic, but believes there are viable paths to strengthen the country's energy output and help restore the economy.

Which is noteworthy because on Saturday, Governor-elect Jim Justice tweeted, he had a "great" phone call with the President-elect. Following the call, on Justice's website, he says the President-elect made it clear he won't forget about West Virginia and the two plan on rolling back EPA regulations on coal, hoping to further grow the state's job opportunities.

So, with the potential of fewer regulations on the mining of coal, a fossil-fuel enthusiast as the EPA administrator and a close relationship between Charleston and Washington D.C., is it possible that we can be both economically and environmentally sustainable?

"What we seem to swing back-and-forth on in this country is a regulatory environment that's either too loose or too tight. There are ways to achieve economic development and environmental protection, but some how or another, we need to strike that balance," says Paul Ziemkiewicz, Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute.

Ziemkiewicz says the country as a whole often gets carried away with the one side of the argument, while the other side isn't addressed, which can be problematic.

"We often fail to ask ourselves the question, 'what's the best way to have an industry that supports the economy of our state, while at the same time having minimal impact on our environment?' Both of these things are possible, but what we've got are sort of the extremes of both sides, which can be equally damaging," says Ziemkiewicz.

Ziemkiewicz says there is an achievable medium, but it's only a matter of time before we see which direction the President-elect will follow.