1. Archive

They were regulated, now they're the regulators

Published Aug. 28, 2005

President Bush outraged environmentalists when he named Gale A. Norton to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior. She was a protege of James Watt, President Reagan's controversial interior secretary, and had served as a staff attorney at the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative property-rights group that advocates against environmental regulation.

Norton is one of many friends of industry, mining and ranching that the Bush administration has put in charge of writing and enforcing the nation's environmental regulations. Here's a sampling:

J. Stephen Griles

Now: Deputy secretary, Interior Department.

Formerly: Principal with National Environmental Strategies Inc., a consulting firm specializing in navigating federal environmental regulations; former senior vice president, the United Co., with operations in coal, oil and natural gas exploration, gold mining, real estate.

Mark E. Rey

Now: Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Oversees the U.S. Forest Service.

Formerly: Longtime executive with the National Forest Products Association and the American Forest Resources Alliance, which represent the timber industry.

Jeffrey Holmstead

Now: Assistant administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, Environmental Protection Agency.

Formerly: Represented industrial clients of law firm Latham & Watkins on matters involving the Clean Air Act. Former adjunct scholar for Citizens for the Environment, an offshoot of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a conservative think tank funded by the auto, energy and timber industries that opposes federal environmental regulation.

Bennett W. Raley

Now: Assistant secretary, Water and Science, Interior Department.

Formerly: Lawyer representing water districts and business interests in water quality and public land issues; member of the board of litigation for the conservative Mountain States Legal Foundation, which opposed the reauthorization of the Clean Water Act.

Rebecca W. Watson

Now: Assistant secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Interior Department.

Formerly: Lawyer representing mining and ranching interests in cases involving land and resource use.

Tom Fulton

Now: Deputy assistant secretary, Land and Minerals Management, Interior Department.

Formerly: President, Big Sky Consulting, lobbying firm for natural resource business interests.

Jeffrey D. Jarrett

Now: Director, Surface Mine Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior Department.

Formerly: Deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; deputy assistant director, office of surface mining, Reagan administration; director of planning, Cravat Coal Co.

Kit Kimball

Now: Director, Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Interior Department.

Formerly: Executive director, Western Regional Council, the "Business Voice of the West," representing mining, energy, construction, ranching and other interests in government regulations; former chairman, Colorado Mining Association.

Conrad Lass

Now: Chief of staff, Bureau of Land Management, Interior Department.

Formerly: Lobbyist for the Southern Co., the largest producer of electricity in the country; specialized in air pollution, tax issues and "clean coal" initiatives.

Camden Toohey

Now: Special assistant for Alaska, Interior Department.

Formerly: Executive director, Arctic Power, a coalition of energy companies aimed at opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

Sources: U.S. Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources News Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, individual resumes.