May 5, 2009
Bryan Shaw, a commissioner at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, survived a challenge by Democratic senators before winning confirmation by a vote of 22 to 7 on Tuesday.
Shaw’s confirmation had become a political football as the Democratic lawmakers attacked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, which they said was too cozy to the companies it regulates.
“The TCEQ faces many challenges as we seek to balance protection and enhancement of the environment with the need to maintain a robust economy,” Shaw, who has taught air pollution engineering at Texas A&M University, said in a statement. “With a rapidly growing population, we will need sound technical analysis to ensure that agency programs and decisions are based on the best science and engineering available.”
Lawmakers, including state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said Shaw had done too little to report possible wrongdoing at the commission (he has served there about a year-and-a-half), and drew attention to Shaw’s answers during his confirmation hearing that he was not persuaded that industrial pollution contributed to global warming.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said Shaw’s “entire career is built around environmental issues.”
“No one can say this man is not qualified,” he said.