This week starts the career of Colonel Michael Teague in the newly created Secretary of Energy and Environment position.
Teague is the former Tulsa District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Governor Mary Fallin created the cabinet-level post by combining the offices of Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Environment, recently vacated by Michael Ming and Gary Sherrer, respectively.
Although this move was criticized by some in the environmental sector, Governor Fallin remarked that “strong energy policy is strong environmental policy. In Col. Teague’s new role, his mission will be to help develop policies that encourage energy exploration and production as well as responsible environmental stewardship. His years of experience dealing with energy production and distribution, infrastructure development, and water management will serve him well as Oklahoma’s first secretary of energy and environment. I am proud to have him on my team.”
Combining the jobs of energy secretary and secretary of the environment has been criticized, especially from the energy sector. Fallin’s office defended the appointment, saying the choice doesn’t diminish her high regard for the energy industry.