Not even the Columbus Dispatch could report Kasich’s appointment of a former megafarm’s point person on keeping environmental regulators at bay and an Dubai oil and gas executive to the Ohio EPA and ODNR yesterday with a straight face:
"These departments are going to send a message to Ohio that we are open for business," Kasich said in naming Scott Nally of Indiana as head of the EPA and former American Electric Power executive David Mustine as director of Natural Resources.
Kasich, a former Republican congressman who will take office Jan. 10, emphasized that he doesn’t plan to empower business at "the cost of environmental degradation." But in the next breath, he said he wants to "exploit the wonders of our state."
But does the background of these appointments really indicate that these guys are going to have an attitude that protecting our environment isn’t a top priority for these agencies?
"I’m not afraid to make the tough decisions," Nally said. "As he (Kasich) said, ‘Nothing is sacred.’"
Um, well…. I’m sure Jon Keeling will think these appointments are fine, just fine.
At least one environmental group gave Kasich at least a backhanded compliment over these appointments:
Jack Shaner, spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Council, expressed caution about Kasich’s appointments. However, he gave the governor-elect "an ‘A’ for transparency. He’s all business, all the time."
So, I guess we should be happy that Kasich is improving on transparency?
The Cincinnati Enquirer, meanwhile…, well, I think they must just have gotten the story wrong:
Kasich vows to drill, but shield parks
In discussing the appointment of Nelly, the Enquirer reported that Kasich “grew up in Indiana.” In fact, Kasich has never lived in Indiana as far as we can determine. (It goes without saying that we’ve presented both of these issues to the reporter in an e-mail seeking a correction on both.)