WASHINGTON (CN) – Michael Catanzaro, a top White House adviser for energy and environmental policy and champion of President Donald Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda, is resigning.
He is returning to CGCN Group, the law and lobbying firm where he previously worked, according to media reports.
Catanzaro, who headed domestic energy issues for the White House National Economic Council, is perhaps best known for his efforts to help the Trump administration repeal the Clean Power Plan and rollback protections for waterways established by former president Barack Obama.
Before joining the Trump administration, Catanzaro lobbied for several oil and gas companies, including Halliburton, Noble Energy, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Hess Corporation, and Devon Energy.
Catanzaro also has a reputation for being a critic of climate science. In a series of articles penned for the conservative news site Human Events, he dismissed climate change as the stuff of “leftist” scare tactics and “hysteria” created by the New York Times.
In one 2003 article, Catanzaro dismissed findings by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group that suggested that extreme weather was caused by global warming and that the U.S. would be forced to pay billions to deal with the fallout from extreme events.
“As for the science, U.S. PIRG is wrong: there is no connection between global warming and extreme weather,” Catanzaro wrote in October 2003.
Former President George W. Bush appointed Catanzaro associate deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, and worked at the agency through 2007.
In 2011, Catanzaro became senior policy adviser to former speaker of the House John Boehner.
In a statement released Tuesday, CGCN Group expressed excitement to see Catanzaro return to their company.
“We are thrilled to welcome Mike back to CGCN,” said Steve Clark, the firm’s managing partner. “Our firm is like a family, and we are proud Mike wanted to come back to us after his service in the government.”
Describing Catanzaro as a “tireless worker with unrivaled command of energy and environmental policy,” Clark said Tuesday the firm would make “every effort necessary” to ensure his work complies with “all relevant ethics guidelines.”
It is unclear who will replace Catanzaro.