Attempt to Derail TCEQ Appointment Fails
Senate confirms Shaw
By Lee Nichols,
5:28PM, Tue. May 5, 2009
The Senate this afternoon approved Bryan W. Shaw’s nomination to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, despite the objections of El Paso Sen. Eliot Shapleigh and some other Democrats. Shaw, appointed to the commission by Gov. Rick Perry in 2007, won confirmation 22-7.
Shapleigh drew upon his experience in trying to deny an air permit to the Asarco copper smelter in El Paso, which he said was approved against the recommendation of TCEQ staff. Shapleigh said the incident was evidence that the agency has become a “lapdog of polluters.”
Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, similarly pointed to a refusal of TCEQ to grant public hearings on a cement plant in Midlothian, which she described as “North Texas’ largest industrial source of pollution.” Shaw voted against the hearings, she said.
Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, countered that opponents simply “didn’t like the way he voted on a couple of cases” and that Shaw “doesn’t deserve this character assassination.”
Austin Democrat Kirk Watson shot back that his opposition was not character assassination but honest scrutiny of a commissioner who “openly questions established scientific evidence and consensus on climate change issues. Mr. Shaw is not someone who should be leading that agency.”
Shaw is an associate professor in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department of Texas A&M. The TCEQ website says, "[t]he majority of his research at TAMU concentrates on air pollution, air pollution abatement, dispersion model development and emission factor development." His term expires in 2013.