Last week, Governor-Elect Kasich named the new Director's for Ohio EPA (Scott Nally) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (David Mustine). At the press briefing, Kasich reiterated his election theme of returning business growth to Ohio. This from the Columbus Dispatch:
"These departments are going to send a message to Ohio that we are open for business," Kasich said in naming Scott Nally of Indiana as head of the EPA and former American Electric Power executive David Mustine as director of Natural Resources.
Kasich, a former Republican congressman who will take office Jan. 10, emphasized that he doesn't plan to empower business at "the cost of environmental degradation." But in the next breath, he said he wants to "exploit the wonders of our state."
"When you have something that's really valuable, use it," he said in a briefing at the Rhodes Tower. That includes drilling for oil and gas in state parks and on state land, he said.
Additional Background on Both Appointments
Current Title: Assistant Commissioner, Office of External Affairs for IDEM
Degree(s): Master of Science from University of Wyoming; Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University
Special license(s): Wastewater Operator certified in Indiana and Virginia; Pesticide Applicator License certified in Indiana
Experience: Regional environmental manager at Perdue Farms Incorporated; numerous publications; held various positions in the environmental and biological sciences; served as president, chairman or board member on various county boards
David Mustine was a Senior Vice President for American Electric Power (AEP) for European business development. More recently he had his own consulting business. He also served as an investment manager for a Bechtel Group. He has a B.S. in business from Ohio State, an MBA from DePaul and a MA from Ashland Seminary.
Appointments Consistent with Kasich "Business" Theme
The Governor Elect was all about jobs, jobs and jobs during the election. He said a key to addressing Ohio's high unemployment rate was creating a better business climate.
Both appointments appear consistent with those themes. Scott Nally served in The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) which has been under the leadership of Tom Easterly since 2005 when Governor Mitch Daniels appointed him Commissioner. Easterly has had a strong emphasis in running IDEM with an eye toward assisting business in navigating complex environmental regulations.
Mustine's background at AEP will certainly be viewed with a skeptical eye by many environmental groups in Ohio. However, he brings a unique business background to a organization whose past two Directors were much more political- both were former State Senators.