“EPA Air Official Accused of Conflict Over Payments Via Gas Giant”

“As the EPA crafts a rule that would trim the agency’s oversight of methane gas, a Democratic-leaning group is demanding a recusal from the division head overseeing the process, accusing her of financial ties to natural gas distribution giant Enbridge Inc.

Anne Idsal runs the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. Valley Crossing Pipeline LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enbridge, operates a 168-mile natural gas line that crosses over 16,100 feet of Idsal’s family land in the southern tip of Texas.

Idsal, who started at the EPA in late 2017, was compensated by the pipeline company for use of the land, according to an EPA spokeswoman. Idsal has recused herself from any issues that concern Valley Crossing, but not Enbridge.

The spokeswoman said Idsal received a one-time payment for the pipeline, made before she started working at the EPA. She didn’t respond to questions about how much Idsal was paid, or when specifically the payment was made. She did say that Idsal had consulted with EPA ethics officials and was told she only had to recuse from Valley Crossing.”

Stephen Lee and Amena H. Saiyid report for Bloomberg Environment July 8, 2020.