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Joel Beauvais, EPA associate administrator for policy.
National Journal
Mike Magner
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Mike Magner
Aug. 1, 2014, 1 a.m.

Joel Beauvais

Joel Beauvais, EPA as­so­ci­ate ad­min­is­trat­or for policy. (Chet Suss­lin)

EPA’s policy chief on the agency’s step-by-step plan to meet the cli­mate-change chal­lenge.

One of the hot­test seats in Wash­ing­ton — next to that of En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency Ad­min­is­trat­or Gina Mc­Carthy — be­longs to EPA policy chief Joel Beauvais. Since be­com­ing as­so­ci­ate ad­min­is­trat­or of the agency’s policy of­fice late last year, Beauvais has been meet­ing al­most daily with Mc­Carthy and the EPA brain trust to guide the de­vel­op­ment of reg­u­la­tions for power plants as well as oth­er ini­ti­at­ives, most of them com­pon­ents of the am­bi­tious — and con­tro­ver­sial — cli­mate agenda Pres­id­ent Obama launched in June 2013.

“We’re tak­ing this in pieces, right?” Beauvais says, not­ing that EPA has already set stand­ards that will double the fuel eco­nomy of cars 

and trucks by 2025, sub­stan­tially re­du­cing the trans­port­a­tion sec­tor’s emis­sions. Now it is tack­ling car­bon emis­sions from elec­tri­city gen­er­at­ors un­der the Clean Power Plan, he says: “The pro­jec­tions are, we’ll get 25 to 30 per­cent be­low 2005 levels by 2030 for that sec­tor. These are really mean­ing­ful re­duc­tions that I think set us on a path that gives a lot of reas­on for op­tim­ism.”

In­dustry and many in Con­gress have de­cried the pro­posed rules aimed at re­du­cing green­house-gas emis­sions from ex­ist­ing and fu­ture power plants as job-killing over­reach and a mis­guided “war on coal,” but Beauvais says he has little con­cern that they will be blocked or de­railed. “I think we are quite con­fid­ent that we’ll be able to fi­nal­ize the rules,” he says. “Not­with­stand­ing that there are some crit­ics on the Hill and else­where, we also have a lot of strong sup­port — and, most im­port­antly, the pres­id­ent has really been ex­tremely clear and firm in his sup­port for the rule­mak­ing.”

Rather than worry about the op­pos­i­tion, EPA is laser-fo­cused on meet­ing Obama’s goal of hav­ing fi­nal reg­u­la­tions in place by June of next year, Beauvais ex­plains. “This is how we do our work here at the agency,” he says. “We take our best shot at it in a pro­pos­al, then we hear what folks have to say, and we try to ad­just course to make sure that we’re do­ing the best pos­sible rule.”

Hear­ing Beauvais, 42, de­scribe his life and ca­reer, it seems he was destined for his cur­rent role. He doesn’t dis­agree: “I’ve al­ways had a high re­gard for the agency,” he says.

He grew up in north­w­est Con­necti­c­ut “play­ing around in the woods” in the Berkshires, and went to Geor­getown and Yale, where he de­veloped a love for forestry and en­vir­on­ment­al is­sues, es­pe­cially dur­ing a sum­mer in Guatem­ala. After gradu­at­ing with a polit­ic­al-sci­ence de­gree, he took a job with the Nature Con­servancy, help­ing in­di­gen­ous peoples who live with­in a massive bio­sphere re­serve in Nicaragua pro­tect their trop­ic­al forest­lands from en­croach­ment by map­ping out their ter­rit­or­ies and ad­voc­at­ing for their land rights.

Law school at New York Uni­versity led Beauvais to clerk­ships with D.C. Cir­cuit Judge Harry Ed­wards and Su­preme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Con­nor, then to a stint at Lath­am & Watkins, where he worked on ap­pel­late cases and en­vir­on­ment­al is­sues. After the Demo­crats won con­trol of Con­gress in 2006, he was hired by then-Rep. Ed­ward Mar­key, D-Mass., as coun­sel on the now-de­funct Se­lect Com­mit­tee on En­ergy In­de­pend­ence and Glob­al Warm­ing. Beauvais fol­lowed Mar­key to the House En­ergy and Com­merce Sub­com­mit­tee on En­vir­on­ment and En­ergy in 2009, where he helped write cap-and-trade le­gis­la­tion that passed the House. He moved to EPA in 2011 as coun­sel to then-Ad­min­is­trat­or Lisa Jack­son. He later trans­ferred to the Of­fice of Air and Ra­di­ation, led by Mc­Carthy. She rose to ad­min­is­trat­or last year; Beauvais was named policy chief in Decem­ber. “I love to come and work with her every day,” he says. “She’s just a really in­spir­ing lead­er, and she’s so much fun.”

Beauvais says he is not bothered by the dooms­day scen­ari­os painted by in­dustry in­terests, par­tic­u­larly the coal in­dustry. “I think we feel tre­mend­ous op­tim­ism about where the sec­tor is headed do­mest­ic­ally and that that’s go­ing to be good for the U.S. eco­nomy,” he says. “And, frankly, coal is ex­pec­ted to con­tin­ue to play a very sig­ni­fic­ant role in the U.S. eco­nomy go­ing for­ward.”

 

CON­SULT­ING GAME

Terri Cooper

De­loitte

Terri Cooper is the new head of De­loitte’s fed­er­al health sec­tor. (Richard A. Bloom)Born in Big­gin Hill out­side Lon­don, Terri Cooper earned de­grees in chem­istry and phar­ma­co­logy at the Uni­versity of Lon­don on her way to the phar­ma­ceut­ic­al in­dustry in the U.K. Then, in 1995, she joined Coopers & Ly­brand and moved to Canada with her new hus­band. Through a series of mer­gers in the con­sult­ing world, by 2006 she was in New Jer­sey with De­loitte. Cooper, now 54, still lives in the New York City metro area but com­mutes weekly to De­loitte’s of­fices in Rosslyn, Va., where she has just been named lead­er of the firm’s fed­er­al health sec­tor. In that role, she man­ages all of De­loitte’s work for fed­er­al health agen­cies, in­clud­ing the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Medi­caid Ser­vices, the Na­tion­al In­sti­tutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion. De­loitte helps its cli­ents im­prove everything “from bench to bed­side” in health care, mean­ing re­search, treat­ment, and any­thing in between, she says.

 

LOBBY SHOPS

Jason Scism

The Bock­orny Group

Jason Scism joins the Bock­orny Group, a con­sult­ing firm. (Richard A. Bloom)Jason Scism wanted to work in polit­ics, so after earn­ing his polit­ic­al-sci­ence de­gree at the Uni­versity of Flor­ida, he came to Wash­ing­ton. Scism, who grew up in North Car­o­lina and Flor­ida, landed an in­tern­ship at the White House, and then worked for two House Re­pub­lic­ans — John Mica of Flor­ida and Dar­rell Issa of Cali­for­nia. His five and a half years with Issa, who in that time be­came chair­man of the Over­sight and Gov­ern­ment Re­form Com­mit­tee, were a joy, Scism says: “He’s an in­cred­ible boss. He’s bright, driv­en, and he’s fair.” Scism’s work on tele­com and in­tel­lec­tu­al-prop­erty mat­ters led him to a job as lead lob­by­ist for Black­Berry in 2010, work­ing on reg­u­lat­ory is­sues and pat­ent re­form. Now 38, Scism has just taken his lob­by­ing ex­per­i­ence and George Ma­son Uni­versity law de­gree to the Bock­orny Group as a prin­cip­al in the bi­par­tis­an con­sult­ing firm. “I’m get­ting back to is­sues I hadn’t had a chance to work on for a long time, like copy­right,” he says.

 

IN­TEREST GROUPS

Stephanie Moore

The En­ter­tain­ment Soft­ware As­so­ci­ation

Stephanie Moore joins the En­ter­tain­ment Soft­ware As­so­ci­ation as chief coun­sel, le­gis­lat­ive and busi­ness af­fairs.  (Chet Suss­lin)While do­ing leg­al work in New York for state Su­preme Court Justice Bruce Wright in the 1980s, Stephanie Moore helped him re­search copy­right is­sues for jazz greats such as Max Roach, Ab­bey Lin­coln, Art Blakey, and Phar­oah Sanders. The ex­per­i­ence led Moore, a nat­ive of Birm­ing­ham, Ala., with de­grees from Ober­lin Col­lege and Har­vard Law School, to a ca­reer spe­cial­iz­ing in in­tel­lec­tu­al-prop­erty law. She next put her cre­den­tials to work on Cap­it­ol Hill as coun­sel to the House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, which in­cluded time as chief coun­sel to then-Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., when he was rank­ing mem­ber on the Courts, In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty, and the In­ter­net Sub­com­mit­tee. Last month, Moore be­came chief coun­sel for le­gis­lat­ive and busi­ness af­fairs at the En­ter­tain­ment Soft­ware As­so­ci­ation, where she will work on fed­er­al policy is­sues af­fect­ing the video-game in­dustry. Asked if she is a “gamer,” Moore ad­mit­ted she’s be­come ad­dicted to a num­ber of com­puter games, but hasn’t yet mastered the Xbox.

 

COR­REC­TION: The ori­gin­al ver­sion of this story stated that im­prove­ments in light-duty vehicle ef­fi­ciency would cut in half trans­port­a­tion-sec­tor green­house-gas emis­sions. The story should have stated that the im­prove­ments will sub­stan­tially re­duce such emis­sions.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the story mis­stated when Joel Beauvais worked on cap-and-trade le­gis­la­tion in the House. He helped write the le­gis­la­tion after he had moved to the House En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee.

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