Trump EPA Appoints Former Oil Executive to Head South-Central Region

"Ken McQueen was criticized for allowing a controversial oil and gas company to double its well density in northwest New Mexico when he was a state official there."

"The Trump administration named a former oil executive who has voiced doubts about man-made global warming as the top Environmental Protection Agency official in the South-Central United States, a hub of the fossil fuel industry as well as the site of recent climate-driven disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Monday appointed Ken McQueen as administrator for the agency's Region 6, which has oversight of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas and 66 Native American tribes. From 2016 to 2018, McQueen served as New Mexico's Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, "where he worked to streamline rules and regulations," according to an EPA statement.

McQueen's deep background in industry aligns with the Trump administration's goal of reducing environmental regulations on oil and gas companies while increasing their ability to explore for reserves on federal land, often in contradiction to steps scientists say must be taken to combat climate change and protect public health."

Neela Banerjee reports for InsideClimate News August 7, 2019.

Source: InsideClimate News, 08/08/2019