F. Chase Hutto, a senior Cheney advisor, is the leading candidate to be appointed assistant secretary for policy and international affairs at the Energy Department, the Washington Post reports. Former EPA official Jason Burnett said Hutto is “naturally and philosophically opposed to regulation,” adding, “I can’t think of a case where Chase advocated more environmental or health protections.” The Washington Post had more highlights from Hutto’s career:
– “At the White House, Hutto has been one of the oil and gas industry’s key points of contact for energy and environmental issues.”
– “In recent months, Hutto has helped scale back a rule proposed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect North Atlantic right whales — one of the most endangered animals on the planet — from lethal ship strikes.”
– “Burnett said that this year Hutto opposed tightening federal rules for smog-forming ozone — which is linked to thousands of premature deaths each year– and in 2005 he questioned why the EPA needed to limit mercury emissions from power plants, because the agency had just issued a rule that would have the incidental effect of somewhat reducing the toxic pollutant.”
Hutto is also deeply opposed to regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars. As one energy official described in July: “He [Hutto] would talk, for example, about not wanting greenhouse gas controls to do away with the large American automobile.”
Last month, a U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming report found that Hutto, “along with unidentified individuals from Exxon Mobil Corp. and the American Petroleum Institute,” played a key role in the Bush administration’s decision not to allow the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.