vandervaartcleanpower-092115One of the Cabinet positions yet to be filled in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration is head of the Environmental Protection Administration, and North Carolina’s secretary of environmental quality, Donald van der Vaart, has emerged as a dark-horse candidate.

A recent Carolina Journal report by Dan Way asking van der Vaart about how the 45th president might deal with environmental policy has gained attention from the Charlotte Business Journal and The Hill newspaper in Washington.

This part of the story raised antennae:

Van der Vaart himself might be under consideration for a position in the Trump administration.

When asked if he had been contacted by the transition team, he responded, “All I’ve been instructed to say is you need to ask the Trump campaign that question.” Requests for comment from the Trump transition team, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office, and Ebell were not returned.

If van der Vaart gets the nod, he would be the first EPA chief with a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline (chemical engineering), and he has a law degree.