When Gary Guzy announced last month that he was stepping down as deputy director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), most political observers assumed that the move was part of a staff reshuffling.
But Guzy, who has joined Covington & Burling, offers another reason for his departure: the commitment of private companies to climate change, sustainability, and clean-energy transformation.
“Companies increasingly take it as a given that [these issues] will be part of their future,” he said. “Companies are increasingly looking to diversify their fuel sources and get inefficiencies out of the system.”¦ Many of them are in the midst of this transformation.”
The companies Guzy has in mind are not just those that specialize in clean-energy technology. According to a report released last month by CDP, a nonprofit that serves as a clearinghouse for environmental data, all five major oil companies have incorporated a price on carbon into their long-term business strategies.
While Guzy did not specify which companies he would advise at Covington & Burling, he did say that “entities in this space don’t just want to understand new [environmental regulations]; they want to get ahead of them and make positive contributions.”
At Covington & Burling, Guzy will work closely with E. Donald Elliott, who served as general counsel to the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush.
For the 55-year-old Guzy, who sees the polar vortex as an opportunity to go cross-country skiing, his interest in environmental policy stems from his love of the outdoors. “Our natural heritage is a huge part of what defines this country,” he said. “Environmental health and well-being is a fundamental choice this country has made.”
A native of Newark, N.J., Guzy holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Cornell University. During the Clinton administration, he served as general counsel to the EPA and as a senior attorney in the Justice Department’s environment division. Before joining CEQ, Guzy was general counsel of APX, which provides registry-tracking systems for carbon and renewable-energy credits.
At the White House, Guzy was instrumental in crafting the Obama administration’s new efficiency standards, which require a fleet-wide average of about 50 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks by 2025.
Guzy lives in Washington with his wife, a federal prosecutor. They have two college-age children.
What We're Following See More »
"House Republican leaders are further delaying a vote on a compromise immigration bill, planning to make changes to the legislation for a vote next week. The news comes after a two-hour Republican Conference meeting Thursday, in which authors of the bill walked through its contents and members raised concerns about issues the bill doesn’t address, multiple GOP lawmakers said. Many members requested the addition of a provision to require employers to use the E-Verify database to cheek the legal status of their employees."
After a conservative-backed immigration bill failed in the House, 193-231, leaders "postponed a vote on a 'compromise' immigration proposal until Friday. ... GOP leaders, however, are under no impression that they'll be able to secure the 218 votes needed in the next 24 hours to pass the text. Rather, the delay is to give members more time to read the bill."
OMB Director Mick Mulvaney today announced a plan to restructure the federal government, calling it part of the administration's efforts to "drain the swamp." In addition to merging the departments of Labor and Education—a detail which leaked earlier today—the proposal would privatize the Postal Service, begin moving federal workers out of the Washington area, and merge social programs into a department of Health and Public Welfare. The role of the Office of Personnel Management would also be largely phased out.