Trump-era EPA chief of staff heads to chemical trade group

By Kevin Bogardus | 10/11/2023 04:01 PM EDT

Ryan Jackson.

Former EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson is joining the American Chemistry Council. Francis Chung/POLITICO | Francis Chung/E&E News

A stalwart aide of the Trump EPA and prominent mining lobbyist is heading to the country’s top business association for chemicals.

Ryan Jackson will join the American Chemistry Council as vice president of federal affairs, starting on Oct. 16. He will succeed Ross Eisenberg, who is now leading the trade group’s plastics division.

Chris Jahn, ACC’s president and CEO, praised Jackson’s experience as a Senate and EPA aide, including his understanding of the agency’s “regulatory capabilities and statutory mandates while navigating the reality of [its] bureaucratic challenges.”

Advertisement

“You’d be hard pressed to find someone as knowledgeable, experienced and who can point to a track record of supporting and delivering bipartisan policy solutions as Ryan Jackson,” Jahn said in a statement when the American Chemistry Council announced the hire last week.

Jackson said the trade group and its member companies will work with Congress, the White House and EPA “to overcome regulatory barriers impacting the industry while delivering the solutions needed to make the United States home to the cleanest, most innovative and competitive manufacturing industry in the world.”

The American Chemistry Council lobbies on a number of issues EPA handles, including per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, the “forever chemicals” credited with widespread contamination. The trade group has spent more than $6.3 million on lobbying so far this year, lobbying disclosure records show.

Jackson, known as RJ, served as chief of staff for two EPA administrators, Scott Pruitt and Andrew Wheeler, during the Trump administration. He left the agency in 2020 to join the National Mining Association where he led its government and political affairs for close to four years.

Before joining to EPA, Jackson, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has a law degree from Oklahoma City University, was staff director for the Environment and Public Works Committee under now-retired Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

He also was chief of staff for Inhofe and served as an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma.