John E Daniel

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John E Daniel was part of the Reagan spoils appointment cabal in 1980-81 when, as the new president, Reagan and his new EPA Administrator, Anne Gorsuch, were dolling out key positions in the regulatory agency to associates and campaign helpers. These were mainly the Sagebrush Rebellion crowd (funded by Joseph Coors). The EPA was destined to be gutted, but in the meantime prime executive positions were awarded to those who had assisted Reagan or the Republican party during his presidential campaign.

Daniel was given the EPA job of Chief of Staff working under Anne Gorsuch. So he was effectively the director of the daily activities of the EPA's top level staff.

NOTE: John Daniel or John Daniels is a relatively common name so there's plenty of room for confusion. There is also a John E Daniels (with an end "S") in the tobacco archives who was a Program manager for General Electric in the 1981 period.

Documents & Timeline

See CV for early details. [2]

1944 Born

1965 Given a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama's College of Engineering. He studied sanitary engineering and structural design.

1968 He received a law degree from the University of Alabama

1968-70 " He helped develop enforcement programs for the former National Air Pollution Control Administration in 1968-70."

1970-73 "served as attorney for Alabama's Environmental Health Administration 1970-73."

1975-76 "He headed the Ohio Attorney General's environmental law section 1975-76,

1976-80 "He was director of environmental and legislative affairs for the American Paper Institute 1976-80.

1979 Jan 24-26 A letterhead from New York's Anderson Russell Kill & Olick has him listed as an active partner in a law firm working for RJ Reynolds Tobacco). [3] [4] However Daniel was also the Treasurer of the "Mike Barnes for Congress" committee which was getting a small grant from the "Tobacco People's Public Affairs Committee" at the same time ... and also supposedly also at the API.. [5]

One letter requesting funds provides reasons why the tobacco company should send Mike Barnes money: "{he} is on the Foreign Affairs (committee) and Judiciary (committee and] has kept us off hazardous substance export bill." [6]

1980 Mar - mid-1981 "He has represented Johns-Manville Corp. before a number of regulatory agencies since March 1980."

Johns Manville had a major EPA environmental and health problem with asbestos contamination. The American Paper Institute had a major problem with Chlorine release and other bleaching chemicals used in production.

1981 July 1 Ronald Reagan has nominated the three top officials who would paralyse and eventually gut the EPA under the overall administration of Anne Gorsuch (later Anne Gorsuch Burford). Under her were a half-dozen separate divisions, each with a spoils-warrior in charge (determined by Anne Gorsuch. John Daniel became Chief of Staff to Gorsuch.

Another appointee at the same time Mrs Kathleen M Bennett had also been a member of the American Paper Institute's "Air Quality Committee", and "Chairman of the Air Quality Subcommittee on Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)" (an EPA legal definition) according to the EPA Journal. [7] So the paper industry had managed to plant two people into key roles in the new do-nothing EPA.

a July 1981 letter shows that staff from the tobacco industry's contractor Arthur D Little had a meeting with Joseph A Cannon at the EPA. He was then the Assistant for Regulatory Reform. They were dealing with the PSD requirement. They wanted a "grandfathering" clause that would exclude from EPA control older plants.

President Reagan had just issued a new Executive Order requiring a Regulatory Impact Analysis before the EPA took action on polluters. [8]

1982 Apr 16 The Environmental Health Letter (Gershon W Fisbein) lists problems at the EPA. The Inspector General's office charged

  • that former EPA research chief Andrew P. Jovanovich acted improperly and violated agency regulations in appearing to help a longtime business associate, Ronald Probstein, a professor of engineering at MIT, obtain an EPA grant to study wastewater treatment technology after his proposal had been rejected by an EPA peer review panel.
  • Jovanovich signed an amendment to the MIT contract to provide another $20,000 to hire Warren Muir, formerly an EPA toxic substances official, as part of the same project. Jovanovich temporarily shifted to the Interior Department. He was a Denver researcher before joining EPA.
  • EPA Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch privately promised Thriftway Co. of New Mexico ( a small oil refinery) that it would not be penalized

if it violated Federal lead standards. She made the promise at a meeting set up by Sen, Alexander Schmitt (six witnesses) (R-NM). John Daniel, Mrs. Gorsuch's chief of staff, dismissed the report, saying it is "a complete vindication of Administrator Gorsuch involving a minor matter."

  • possible conflict-of-interest charges involving James W. Sanderson, Mrs. Gorsuch's choice for the No. 3 post in the agency. He is alleged to have had contacts with former clients and associates while serving as an EPA consultant in Denver last year.

Faced with mounting public criticism, EPA has appointed a new enforcement chief, Robert M. Perry, who has been the agency's general counsel, to replace William A. Sullivan, Jr., who has resigned. Peter Broccoletti, Jr., Sullivan's assistant, has also been asked to leave. [9]

1982 June Environmental Health Letters reports that:

EPA is going through a series of top-level management shifts, partly—but not entirely—resulting from the withdrawal of the nomination of Denver lawyer James Sanderson for the post of Assistant Administrator for Policy and Resource Management, the No. 3 post in the agency (behind Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch and Deputy Administrator John Herhandez).

Immediately after withdrawal of the Sanderson nomination, EPA appointed Joseph A. Cannon as Associate Administrator for Policy and Resource Management, where he has been acting since last September. It should be noted that the post of Associate Administrator does not require Senate confirmation; Assistant Administrator, for which Sanderson was to be nominated, does require it.

Sanderson was an attorney representing Chemical Waste Management, the Denver Water Board, and other clients including Chevron Shale Oil, Snowmass and Adolph Coors Co., while simultaneously serving as a paid Special Assistant/advisor to EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch. The EPA was dealing with the Colorado Water Quality Standards issue at that time, and she must have been aware of his lobbying work.[10] [11]

{The) EPA sought to avoid the Sanderson flap by asking the White House to nominate John E Daniel, now chief of staff at EPA (which does not require Senate confirmation) to the post of Assistant Administrator, for which he presumably would have no trouble being confirmed. Then, according to our sources, Sanderson would be appointed to Daniel's post. The White House is understood to have rejected the plan.

Cannon will be responsible for policy analysis, regulatory reform, the budget, standards, regulations and management systems and evaluation. Cannon, 32, served in two Washington law firms before joining EPA in May 1981 as special assistant to the Administrator,[12]