President-elect Donald Trump’s energy and environmental transition staff has been drastically reshaped.
The transition team announced today that Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, will be taking over as head of the Energy Department transition operation. Doug Domenech, former Virginia secretary of natural resources and a George W. Bush administration Interior Department staffer, will lead Interior’s transition operation.
The Trump team said Myron Ebell, a well-known climate skeptic and the head of the U.S. EPA transition operation, continues to lead that agency’s team.
Several top transition team members have departed as others have taken their slots on teams overseeing energy policies and on the so-called landing teams expected to arrive this week in DOE, the Interior Department and other agencies. The shake-ups come after the Trump team announced a crackdown on registered lobbyists last week and amid a broader staffing overhaul made when Vice President-elect Mike Pence replaced New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as head of the transition team.
The landing teams are expected to interview current agency officials about ongoing policies and make recommendations for the incoming administration about how to reverse current policies and advance its own agenda following Trump’s inauguration.
Pyle is taking over for Mike McKenna, an energy lobbyist and president of MWR Strategies, who left his post last week as head of the DOE landing team (Greenwire, Nov. 18).
Pyle isn’t currently a registered lobbyist but has lobbied in the past for Koch Industries, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (now called American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers), and other groups. He worked on Capitol Hill for former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), as staff director for the House Western Caucus and as a legislative aide to former California Republican Rep. Richard Pombo.
Domenech has taken over the lead on the Interior team, which was previously headed by another former Bush Interior official, David Bernhardt.