Sen. Inhofe scrutinizes new White House climate adviser

Sen. Jim InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate panel advances Pentagon chief, Joint Chiefs chairman nominees Trump's pick to lead Pentagon glides through confirmation hearing Trump says US will not sell Turkey F-35s after Russian missile defense system purchase MORE (R-Okla.) is scrutinizing the President for hiring a climate and energy adviser who used to work for a major environmental group.

Megan Ceronsky was hired in January as a senior adviser to President Obama in the White House’s energy and climate change office, after having worked for near four years at the Environmental Defense Fund as a top lawyer.

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Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said Monday that the hire is akin to “having the fox watch the henhouse,” and asked various questions about whether her hire conforms with ethics rules.

Ceronsky was a key figure in efforts leading up to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) landmark carbon limits for power plants, and she should not be allowed to work on that rule, Inhofe argued.

“It appears highly inappropriate to have Ms. Ceronsky serve in any capacity interacting with EPA or otherwise involved in the development of these rules, considering her prior legal representation and advocacy on behalf of EDF before EPA on these very same matters,” Inhofe wrote in letter to the White House.

“Given these concerns, it is important that Congress and the American people have confidence that Obama administration officials are acting with impartiality and in the best interest of the American people, in accordance with federal conflict of interest and ethics laws, and not in any way advocating in favor of former employers or clients,” he continued.

Inhofe demanded to see various ethics and financial disclosures, in addition to all of Ceronksy’s communications with environmental and energy agencies.