Watchdogs Question White House’s ‘Uncommon’ Move To Have Well-Connected Enviro Consult Key Agency
- September 25, 2023
Nick Pope, The Daily Caller
The White House requested that a well-connected environmentalist take a leave of absence from his private job with a popular outdoor apparel company to consult the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2021, an arrangement which several government watchdog groups told the Daily Caller News Foundation is atypical.
Avi Garbow left his job as an environmental advocate at Patagonia in January 2021 to serve as senior counselor to the administrator of the EPA until June 2021 at the request of the White House, according to his LinkedIn profile. The White House’s request was “uncommon,” government watchdog groups told the DCNF, especially in light of a wider pattern whereby the Biden EPA’s senior political appointees share close ties with environmentalist interests.
“This situation is uncommon but not unheard of, especially in today’s Environmental Protection Agency,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, told the DCNF. “We’ve been sounding the alarm about the EPA’s ‘revolving door’ for quite some time, and here’s another example,” he said, adding that “between the revolving door, the cozy relationships with activist groups and dubious ethics waivers, all abetted by career ethics officials, the agency clearly feels it’s not bound by normal ethical standards.
Garbow is not the only current or former political appointee in the EPA with close ties to environmentalist organizations, as Chamberlain alluded to. Other examples include a former Washington state official, who once worked for the co-founder of the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) and maintained a close relationship with the organization as a Biden political appointee at the EPA before leaving the government to go work for the USCA again, according to Protect the Public’s Trust.