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Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are publicly questioning new administrator Scott Pruitt's (seated) ties to the energy sector, worried that such links may affect his ability to do the job. (Associated Press)

EPA questions Pruitt’s link to oil, gas

- The Washington Times

Scott Pruitt will take the helm at the Environmental Protection Agency this week facing questions about his relationship with fossil fuels companies and a workforce that, at least in part, seems skeptical about his plans for the agency.

President Donald Trump hands the pen he used to sign H.J. Res. 38 to Kevin Hughes, General Manager, Murray Energy Corporation, second from right, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. The president is surrounded by coal miners and members of congress including Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., right, Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, left, and Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio. third from left, (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Trump nixes Obama regulations on coal industry

- The Washington Times

Saying he’s keeping the promise he made to coal miners during his campaign, President Trump on Thursday afternoon nixed regulations on the coal industry implemented during the waning hours of Obama administration.

Pope on Dakota pipeline: Indigenous people have land rights

- Associated Press

Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.

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Greenpeace demonstrators used a crane to hang a banner near the White House last week. It was one part of a multipronged strategy to combat the Trump administration's purported war against the science of climate change. (Associated Press)

Green groups target Trump with guerrilla warfare campaign

- The Washington Times

With their traditional political power diminished, environmental activists have launched an unprecedented guerrilla warfare campaign against President Trump -- and analysts say such efforts will only grow in intensity over the coming weeks and months.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry smiles as he leaves Trump Tower in New York in this Dec. 12, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Rick Perry: 'I regret' calling for the elimination of the Energy Department

- The Washington Times

As he tries to convince the Senate to put him in charge of the Energy Department, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told lawmakers Thursday that he was wrong to recommend eliminating that same department and stressed that it plays a vital role in energy development, scientific research, nuclear security and in other areas.

Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Rex Tillerson takes tough line on Russian hacking in tense hearing

- The Washington Times

Former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, took a tough line on Russian hacking, praised Mexican immigrants and acknowledged the problem posed by global climate change -- drawing repeated accolades from Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, but setting up some potentially awkward moments with his future boss.

VW emissions-cheating deal could put employees in hot seat

- Associated Press

The imminent criminal plea deal between Volkswagen and U.S. prosecutors in an emissions-cheating scandal could be bad news for one group of people: VW employees who had a role in the deceit or subsequent cover-up.

This Jan. 4, 2017, image provided by the U.S. Energy Department and its contractor Nuclear Waste Partnership shows workers moving waste underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M. The repository, the federal government's only underground spot for disposing of low-level nuclear waste, had been shuttered for nearly three years since a 2014 radiation release. (Sam Christensen/Nuclear Waste Partnership via U.S. Energy Department)

Ernest Moniz, energy secretary, lauds opening of nuke repository

- Associated Press

It was the determination of workers over nearly three years and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for low-level nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release, the head of the U.S. Energy Department said.