President Barack Obama has made a controversial pick to head the Department of Justice’s Environmental Division. Last week, President Obama nominated Ignacia S. Moreno to be Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division in the Department of Justice.
Ignacia has an extensive corporate background and is currently the corporate environmental counsel for General Electric. General Electric is the United States’ #1 Superfund polluter and just recently lost an eight-year case in which it attempted to show that parts of the Superfund law are unconstitutional.
Before joining General Electric, Moreno defended General Motors in another Superfund case while a lawyer at Spriggs and Hollingsworth. In the 1990s, Moreno worked for the Clinton administration and attempted to weaken the dolphin-safe tuna law.
This is all problematic because Moreno’s position would be to enforce federal environmental laws, including protections of such as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Superfund. It’s hard to see how she would be a good choice to hold companies accountable, especially when she specifically argued that one of the laws was potentially unconstitutional.
This is made all the more disappointing when you consider that it is coming on top of news that the Obama administration has ruled that 42 out of 48 mountaintop removal coal mining permits are “environmentally responsible”.