Florida’s Top Environmental Regulator Takes Job With Company He Regulated

Florida’s top environmental official, David Struhs, resigned Wednesday to take a job with International Paper, a company he did controversial favors for while in office. As head of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Struhs received mixed reviews from enviros, with some lauding his tough enforcement of environmental regulations (which may, ironically, have prevented him from being appointed as U.S. EPA administrator) and others pointing to his cozy relationship with industry and involvement in several highly contentious decisions. The most contentious was his support for legislation that delayed final deadlines for cleaning the Everglades, which led the Sierra Club and other enviro groups to call for his resignation. Struhs’ move to industry highlights the “revolving door” between government regulatory agencies, industry, and lobbying firms, which creates insular, chummy relationships and often results in toothless enforcement — nobody wants to tick off their golfing buddies.