Governor Called to Rescind EQC Pick Over Ethical Concerns
he Oregon Senate is set to vote soon on the Governor’s most recent nominees to various boards and commissions. The Governor has nominated Amelia Schlusser, a staff attorney for a green energy advocacy organization, to sit on the Environmental Quality Commission.
According to the Senate Republican Caucus, the nature of Ms. Schlusser’s work for an organization that promotes policies the EQC has jurisdiction over raises serious ethical concerns.
They contend that in her position at the Green Energy Institute (GEI), Schussler advances their goals to pursue 100% decarbonized energy, taxing industries that use energy that emits carbon, and opposes the use of fossil fuels. She has admitted that she “regularly communicates with policymakers” and “participates in regulatory proceedings convened by Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality,” the Department which is overseen by the EQC.
“This nomination from the Governor is a power-grab that raises serious ethical questions,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “Getting paid to advocate for government policies that she would directly oversee if confirmed is the clearest conflict of interest I can imagine. The Governor should immediately rescind this nomination. If the Governor fails, the Senate should not vote to confirm.”
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e cannot ignore this obvious conflict of interest that would permanently damage the credibility of the Environmental Quality Commission,” said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby). “The Governor should rescind this nomination of Ms. Schlusser, who works for an advocacy group that regularly lobbies this commission. Giving any organization that kind of direct influence would be clear favoritism. We must hold our state to higher ethical standards than this.”
“This kind of nomination by the Governor destroys the public’s trust in our government,” said Senator Fred Girod (R-Lyons) who sits on the Senate Rules Committee with Senator Knopp. ”There are more ethical ways for the Governor to stack these commissions with extreme environmentalists, but the Governor opted to nominate someone with a clear conflict of interest.”
Oregon law currently does not have any qualifications for appointment to the Environmental Quality Commission. An initiative petition
to create regional and professional criteria is currently being circulated for the 2022 ballot.
The Senate Rules Committee will take up the nomination on Monday, November 15 at 12:45pm.
|Post Date: 2021-11-12 15:47:31||Last Update: 2021-11-12 16:01:31|