Trump Appointee To Head Southwest Region Is a Climate Change Doubter

"When the Trump administration announced the appointment of Anne Idsal as the new regional EPA administrator, Adrian Shelley, the director of Public Citizen Texas, had just one thought: Who? “That name meant nothing to me,” said Shelley, who has worked on environmental issues in Texas for the past six years.

Idsal is something of an unknown quantity for many, though she comes from a well-connected Texas political family with ties to the Republican guard and has worked at a high level in state government for years. Her mother, Katharine Armstrong, served on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under George W. Bush; her grandmother, Anne Armstrong, was an ambassador to the United Kingdom during the Ford administration. The Armstrong Ranch, where former vice president Dick Cheney blasted Harry Whittington with a shotgun during a dove hunt in 2006, is hallowed ground for Republican politicians. Idsal, 34, graduated from Baylor Law School in 2010, joined the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) as assistant general counsel that year and later worked as the chief clerk for George P. Bush at the General Land Office.

Idsal is taking the reins of EPA Region 6, which includes Texas, four other states and 66 tribal nations, as the agency undergoes internal turmoil. In a push to “put America first,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has begun implementing President Trump’s deregulatory agenda, rolling back Obama-era environmental protections, opening up federal lands for drilling and downgrading consequences for polluters. On climate change, Pruitt has claimed there is a  “debate” that’s “far from settled,” echoing Trump, who once tweeted that climate change is a Chinese hoax."

Naveena Sadasivam reports for the Texas Observer December 28, 2017.

Source: Texas Observer, 12/29/2017