In August, the Post headlined the story, “Anti-Regulation Aide to Cheney Is Up for Energy Post,” noting that the “promotion that would put one of the administration’s most ardent opponents of environmental regulation in charge of forming department policies on climate change.”
It’s not like we have any recent evidence that regulations are needed for maintaining the health and well-being of Americans.
F. Chase Hutto III has played a prominent behind-the-scenes role in shaping the administration’s environmental policies for several years, the officials said, helping to rewrite rules affecting the air that Americans breathe and the waters that oil tankers traverse. In every instance, according to both his allies and opponents, he has challenged proposals that would place additional regulations on industry.
The good news is that the Senate isn’t gonna give him the job. The bad news is, it doesn’t matter. As E&E Daily reports this morning:
President Bush yesterday named F. Chase Hutto III as acting assistant secretary of the Energy Department for international affairs and domestic policy.
The president formally nominated Hutto for the position Sept. 26, but it is unlikely the nomination would be passed before the end of Bush’s administration.
Several senators already objected to Hutto’s nomination and threatened to put a hold on it. Hutto is highly criticized by environmentalists and others for repeatedly objecting to science-based environmental and public health regulations in his position as a top aide for Vice President Dick Cheney.
Hutto argued against administrative action after the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v. EPA decision in April 2007, questioned proof that mercury pollution from power plants is a threat to human health and argued against limiting power plant mercury emissions, critics say.
“Talk about the fox guarding the henhouse,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said in a statement after Hutto’s nomination. “A Cheney aide who represents everything that is wrong with the direction of our energy and environmental policies is now helping lead the Department of Energy,” he said. Menendez and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sent a letter to the president last month objecting to Hutto’s nomination.
Hutto, 39, has been a deputy assistant to Cheney for domestic policy since 2005. He was formerly the director of international energy on the National Security Council, and a Senate staffer and senior policy adviser to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. He also was a vote-recount team leader in Florida for President Bush’s 2000 campaign.
Oh, great. He can’t even count. When will our long national nightmare finally be over?