A former Obama administration official says that President Donald Trump is preparing to nominate at least eight people for a slew of Cabinet positions at his agency.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the nominations are “coming out as expected” and that he expects the picks to be announced in the next week or so.
They include two Cabinet-level posts, including Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
The administration has said it is considering eight people who could be nominated by Trump in coming weeks.
A White House official said the appointments were expected, although it was not clear if the President was considering the Cabinet appointments or the individual candidates for them.
The announcement could affect the future of a key federal agency that has drawn a lot of criticism from environmental activists, Democrats and some Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski Lisa Ann MurkowskiGOP senators push Trump to name replacement for Steve Mnuchin in Cabinet: report Overnight Health Care: Dems unveil first legislative win in six years | CBO finds $880 billion in new spending for health care | CBO shows ACA enrollment falls below pre-ACA level | Dems vow to protect ACA repeal MORE (R-Alaska).
The officials spoke on condition that they not be identified discussing the process of selecting Trump Cabinet members.
They said the picks could be made within weeks, as Trump prepares to leave office on Jan. 20.
The officials said the nominees are being considered in the order of who he thinks would be most effective in the Cabinet’s overall leadership role.
The new hires would be expected to serve at the departments of Energy, Commerce, Agriculture and Interior.
Perdue is a member of the House Agriculture Committee, while Ross is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, which has called for more regulation of energy companies.
The other two Cabinet nominees are former Energy Secretary Sonny Conyers William (Sonny) William ConyersKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow Dems push back on calling for investigation into Kavanaugh MORE (Mich.) and former Interior Secretary Ben Carson Benjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBiden is wrong to oppose Supreme Court nominee over Confederate flag GOP senator calls for investigation of whether Biden’s son has had ‘unethical’ relationship with RussiaThe Hill’s Morning Report — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re victims of assault MORE (Ga.).
Perdue has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s energy policies.
The nominee, who ran for the Senate in 2018, has said the administration’s proposed rule changes would drive up electricity rates.
He has also said the energy industry has been unfairly rewarded.
The energy industry is also a major constituency for the Trump White House.
Trump has promised to make the nation energy independent, but has said that a combination of federal regulations and his executive orders would lead to energy companies being left with a $2 trillion hole in their balance sheets.
Ross has said he supports the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which was aimed at reducing carbon emissions and reducing power plant emissions, but also has called on the Obama Administration to take further steps to combat climate change.
The Energy Department has received at least $3.4 billion from the Obama-era Clean Power Act since 2016, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Trump has also nominated several Cabinet members who have previously advocated for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
The projects were halted in December by a federal court ruling that was a blow to environmentalists who argued the pipelines would be vital to the energy independence of the United States.
The sources spoke on the condition of not being identified discussing Trump’s cabinet picks.
They added that they expect the nominees to be confirmed, but did not say when the nominees will be confirmed.