Dennis Lee Forsgren, a former lobbyist recently tapped to lead the Environmental Protection Agency office in charge of water safety, has deep ties to a fossil fuel advocacy group engaged in the promotion of the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as controversial offshore drilling efforts.
The appointment signals a victory for industrial opponents of clean water regulations. The department that Forsgren will now help oversee, the EPA’s Office of Water, is in charge of implementing the landmark Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts passed in the early seventies. In that capacity it studies the toxic effects of fracking on groundwater safety, the downstream consequences of industrial pollutants, and the environmental impact of oil spills.
Before arriving at the EPA, Forsgren was an attorney for HBW Resources, a fossil fuel lobbying firm known for orchestrating campaigns on behalf of industry clients.
The public-facing side of Forsgren’s lobbying firm is the Consumer Energy Alliance, an astroturf advocacy organization managed by HBW Resources that works aggressively to build support for contentious oil and gas projects around the country.