Senators Call on Bush to Reverse Controversial Appointment of Cheney Aide to Energy Post

Menendez and Sanders point to Chase Hutto's record of favoring oil companies and opposing public health protections

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), both members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today strongly urged President Bush to refrain from appointing an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney to a top Department of Energy post. Cheney aide F. Chase Hutto III has a documented history of favoring oil companies and backing big corporations against measures to protect public health, but it has recently been reported that he is a leading candidate to be appointed to DOE's Assistant Secretary of Energy for Policy and International Affairs position.

In their letter, the Senators write, "While the American people are looking for leadership on renewable energy and global warming, they would instead get someone committed to partisan politics and more of the status quo failed energy policies. Appointing Mr. Hutto to any acting capacity would be a mistake and we sincerely hope that at the end of your Presidency, you will avoid any such blatantly-confrontational actions."

The Senators also assert that Hutto "has an unfortunate history of opposing science-based environmental and public health regulations." They point specifically to two concerning episodes.

According to a House of Representatives committee report, Hutto carried the water for the oil industry during internal the White House debate following the 2007 Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate greenhouse gases. Additionally, Hutto questioned the need for the EPA to regulate power plant emission of mercury that can harm public health.

You can view the letter here