UPDATE: Rick Scott names Herschel Vinyard (who?) to run the Department of Environmental Protection

Moments after Governor-Elect Rick Scott named Herschel Vinyard to be his new Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, a press release issued saluting the choice came from ..no, not an environmental group, but the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  What, you expected the Sierra Club?

The Chair of the Chamber, former House Speaker Allan Bense, was all in, saying:

“As a veteran environmental lawyer, strong business leader, and Florida Chamber member, Herschel is a solid choice and brings impressive skills that will allow him the ability to balance our state’s natural resources with job creation.  His knowledge and appreciation for Florida’s environment, coupled with experience as a leader in Florida’s business community make Herschel Vinyard the right pick to lead the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.”

Also Mark Wilson with the Chamber gave praise: “With Governor-elect Rick Scott’s jobs agenda and Herschel’s background of balancing natural resources and free enterprise, this choice is a big win for the citizens of Florida, and it will help move our state forward toward a new economy.”

So what does the Sierra Club think?  Well, according to Frank Jackalone with the group, the Club did not send out an immediate release because they weren't really familiar with him, and are trying to learn more before they officially comment.

Currently, Vinyard serves as director of business operations at BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards where he is responsible for strategic planning, business development and regulatory and government affairs.  He's also serving on the boards of the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturers Association of Florida, and the Jacksonville Port Authority.

The Scott administration says that Vinyard represented "numerous clients in a myriad of complex environmental matters."


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