Perry’s top environment official is ‘anti-science’: environmentalist

By Kase Wickman
Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:07 EDT
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Amid the hubbub of trying to single out a nominee for the 2012 presidential election, some are thinking of a bigger picture — who the candidates’ potential cabinet members will be. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has been his state’s executive for a decade, so some of his longest-standing advisers would surely garner consideration for cabinet seats if he were to be nominated and elected.

The man who could end up in a powerful seat is Perry’s long-time top environmental head, Bryan Shaw — a climate-change skeptic.

Mother Jones reported that Shaw, the Texas A & M engineer who has headed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality since 2007, has made statements doubting climate change and allying himself with pollution-creating industries.

Shaw and the TCEQ are in charge of issuing permits to energy plants in the course of “protect[ing] our state’s human and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development.”

Shaw said during his confirmation hearing that he doesn’t “believe [climate change] is fully vetted.”

Texas ranks first in the nation in carbon dioxide emissions.

Perry, together with Shaw, has used climate change skepticism to block environmental laws with potential to curtail airborne pollution such as smog, and instead favored politics and economic savings.

Jim Marston, head of the Texas office of the Environmental Defense Fund, told Mother Jones that Shaw is “aggressively anti-health” and “hostile to the environment.”

“He just spouts anti-science ideology.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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