Policy: Environment & Energy

Shocker: EPA official leaves for environmental group

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,EPA,Ashe Schow,Energy and Environment,Coal,Fracking,Oil

An Environmental Protection Agency official has entered the revolving door of cronyism by leaving the federal government to become an executive at a prominent environmental group.

Lisa Garcia, former associate assistant administrator for environmental justice at the EPA, will become Earthjustice’s new vice president of litigation for health — a position created just for Garcia.

“In this role, Garcia will chart Earthjustice's course in groundbreaking and high-impact litigation to protect communities and families from the wide range of pollution issues that confront them on a daily basis,” the organization said in a press release. “Tens of thousands of Americans die every year because of dirty air; hundreds of thousands more land in hospital emergency rooms because of asthma attacks and respiratory disease.”

Garcia, nominated by President Obama, was formerly the assistant attorney general for New York, where she defended the state's Brownfields Cleanup Program - which just last year was accused of costing taxpayers billions in tax credits for little reward.

It should come as no surprise that Earthjustice opposes coal, just like Obama's EPA, and having a former EPA employee to argue that things like coal, fracking and oil harm everyone's health (even if you live more hundreds of miles from any sources) will be a big win for environmentalists.

Oil and gas companies get raked over the coals (sorry, had to) for hiring oil and gas regulators, but it's doubtful that Garcia's departure will get the same kind of attention.

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