EPA reassigns Clean Power Plan author

Source: Arianna Skibell, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A leading U.S. EPA Clean Air Act lawyer has been reassigned to work on “special projects,” according to a notice sent to agency staff last week.

Lorie Schmidt, EPA associate general counsel, had a significant role drafting former President Obama’s signature climate regulation, the Clean Power Plan, which Administrator Scott Pruitt has initiated the process to repeal.

As of today, Deputy Associate General Counsel Gautam Srinivasan will serve as acting associate general counsel, said an email from EPA Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson obtained by E&E News.

“I appreciate Gautam’s willingness to take on this new challenge,” Jackson wrote. “I also appreciate Lorie Schmidt’s service at EPA. She will be detailed to assist with special projects in the [Office of General Counsel].”

Srinivasan joined the OGC in 1999 in the Pesticides and Toxics Law Office and has served in a number of positions, most recently the deputy associate general counsel in the Air and Radiation Law Office, Jackson said.

Jackson provided no explanation for the transfer. Schmidt could not be reached in time for publication.

In addition to working at EPA, Schmidt has held positions on Capitol Hill, where she worked as senior counsel to the Democratic staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.).

She also helped draft the 2009 climate cap-and-trade bill, which passed the House but failed to gain traction in the Senate. Inside EPA first reported on Schmidt’s reassignment.

Reporter Kevin Bogardus contributed.