Two Potential EPA Administrator Names Emerge11/21/2016
Two members of Trump’s agricultural advisory committee may be candidates for the job of EPA Administrator. Lawyer and Illinois farm owner Gary Baise, who is currently a principal at OFW Law and is co-head of the firm’s litigation practice, would bring a wealth of experience to the position.
Baise was the chief of staff to the first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator and later became director of the EPA’s Office of Legislation. He served as executive assistant to the acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, associate deputy attorney general, and acting deputy attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.
He specializes in litigation related to a wide variety of environmental issues and has defended several farmers in wetlands enforcement cases under the Clean Water Act.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, who was spotted on her way to meetings in Trump Tower on Thursday, is considered another potential candidate for the top EPA job.
Rutledge, who married a farmer last year, has served as deputy counsel to then-Gov. Mike Huckabee, deputy prosecuting attorney, and attorney for the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services. In the past, she has criticized EPA’s anti-haze regulation – arguing that it’s a decision that should be left up to state control.
Also Friday, Trump announced that he would nominate Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to run the Central Intelligence Agency. Sessions has been a strong critic of illegal immigration and expansion of importation of low-skilled foreign workers though he has said he agrees that farms need access to temporary guest workers.
Pompeo is best known in agriculture for sponsoring a House-passed bill to bar states from requiring the labeling of foods with biotech ingredients. The preemption measure was eventually folded by the Senate into a larger bill requiring disclosure of GMOs.