Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Collin O’Mara Picked to Head DNREC

Jack Markell’s last cabinet appointment may be his most visionary.
Markell has picked Collin O’Mara to head the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Controls (DNREC), calling him “a nationally recognized climate prosperity expert.”
O'Mara is described as the clean energy strategist for the city of San Jose, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
I was one of several environmental advocates who had the chance to meet with O’Mara last week. I found him to be smart and sophisticated in his understanding of environmental economics. For instance, he gets Markell's decision to include health costs in future decisions on energy policy in Delaware.
While he is eager to take advantage of opportunities to make Delaware a leader in the green economy, he doesn’t see DNREC as being in the economic development business. When I asked him how a regulatory agency (DNREC) can contribute to promoting green jobs, he started by saying that it starts with the proper enforcement of polluting industries. In other words, it’s hard to promote clean industry if dirty industry still enjoys an advantage in the form of lax regulation.
While O’Mara is coming to Delaware to champion Markell’s vision for climate prosperity, this quote from the press release shows he won't be afraid to get his feet dirty:
“As an outdoorsman I cannot wait to explore Delaware’s beautiful state parks and to cast a line in one of Delaware’s many lakes, ponds and streams.”
I don't know at this point when O'Mara's confirmation will be taken up by the Senate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an outdoorsman I cannot wait to explore Delaware’s beautiful state parks and to cast a line in one of Delaware’s many lakes, ponds and streams

Uh oh. When can we start the countdown clock for when Mr O'Mara lets out his deeply primal, "OH-MYyyy-GOD" scream? When he steps foot in a waterway, or makes his first catch of a tire or a three-eyed fish?

4:58 PM, March 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish him the best, but if he envisions the position if Secretary of DNREC to be a walk in the park, he will be very surprised.

6:19 PM, March 17, 2009  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

I imagine his job includes looking for abandoned tires and the occasional three-eyed fish, so hopefully he'll know what to do when they surface.

9:54 PM, March 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as long as he doesn't eat what he catches.


10:30 AM, March 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what Jack was thinking to offer this to Collin and what Collin was thinking to accept? the nomination process may be interesting despite big Dem majority. To me, the nomination is an insult to the experienced people who have worked hard in the field of environmental regulation for years and actually know something about the subject. On the other hand, I hope he will be a fast learner and not rely too much on some who are there now because the place is a mess. Tough job if you really care about the environment and an easy one if you don't.

11:57 AM, March 18, 2009  
Blogger Nancy Willing said...

From the WNJ article today, I think that it will be expected that Dave Small will be accessed for the regulatory aspects of DNREC and the Secretary will be doing the Economic Development 'side' of things.
We will have to see what is provided for DNREC in the budget before I feel completely comfortable with this. I do have faith that Collin O'Mara will bring to Delaware what it needs right now. The Jack-o-philes are pleased!

6:40 PM, March 18, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OOops there goes another refinery - just like in California where O'Mara came from. Of course he's not the only one to blame but the thought of him in office had to be a factor in Valero's decision. Environmentalists need to learn to take economics into account and make regulatory measures that are realistic, effective and affordable or we can look for more of the same.

10:27 PM, November 30, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home