06/15/2005 10:55 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Philip Cooney Stays in the Fold

The news today is that Philip Cooney has gone to work for Exxon Mobil. But the real news is that he never left. This administration has consistently blurred the line between public service and private enterprise. They appoint a timber industry lobbyist to run the forest service, a mining industry lobbyist to run public lands, a utility lobbyist to run the EPA’s air division. There is nothing wrong with having business people in government if the objective is to recruit competence and expertise. But throughout the Bush administration business lobbyists from polluting industries are now running the agencies charged with protecting Americans from pollution -- not out of a commitment to public service but rather to subvert the very laws they are supposed to enforce, to enrich the president’s corporate paymasters. Philip Cooney’s matriculation to Exxon Mobil is just a promotion from a company he has been working for all along.