One of the coal industry's biggest boosters has joined U.S. EPA.
Christian Palich, who started this week as a deputy associate administrator in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, is the former president of the Ohio Coal Association.
He worked for the coal group for nearly four years and was registered as a lobbyist, state records show.
Palich also has experience with Congress, having served as Rep. Bill Johnson's (R-Ohio) district director. He also was the political director for Johnson's 2010 and 2012 campaigns.
Palich graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor's degree in political science.
At the Ohio Coal Association, Palich was a critic of environmental groups and an ardent supporter of President Trump.
In March, he hailed the president's signing of the executive order that targeted several Obama administration climate change actions, including the Clean Power Plan, and Trump's support of coal, according to several tweets on his social media account.
EPA later included a quote from Palich praising the order in a press release, with him saying Trump "has honored his pledge to stand with energy consumers and Ohio coal country over radical environmentalists."
Palich joins an EPA congressional affairs team that has been reworked for the Trump administration. Troy Lyons, once a Hess Corp. lobbyist, leads the office, which also includes other former Republican congressional aides such as Tate Bennett and Aaron Ringel (Greenwire, April 14).