Glenn Youngkin from Virginia, United States via Wikimedia Commons

One of Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s latest picks to join his incoming cabinet is causing quite a stir. Among liberals, that is.

Yesterday, Youngkin tapped Andrew Wheeler to become the Commonwealth’s secretary of natural resources. Wheeler has a history of public service, previously as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief in the Trump administration.

The announcement sparked outrage from Democrats who say that Wheeler doesn’t take the threat posed by climate change seriously enough.

As Bacon’s Rebellion reports:

“Virginia needs a diverse energy portfolio in place to fuel our economic growth, continued preservation of our natural resources, and a comprehensive plan to tackle rising sea levels,” Youngkin said. “Andrew and Michael share my vision in finding new ways to innovate and use our natural resources to provide Virginia with a stable, dependable, and growing power supply that will meet Virginia’s power demands without passing the costs on to the consumer.”

Wheeler is sure to be a lightning rod for environmental policy. As EPA chief, he attracted extensive negative attention from environmentalists. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) lost no time in denouncing him. “Governor-elect Youngkin has indicated that he is intent on making his first step on environmental issues a huge step backward,” said the activist group in a press release that arrived in my in-box even before Youngkin’s announcement.

Youngkin also chose Michael Rolband, founder of a natural resources consulting firm in Gainesville, to lead the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The DEQ is responsible for issuing permits, administering laws and enforcing regulations affecting natural resources and pollution.

Fast-moving developments from the transition team didn’t stop there. Youngkin ended the day by announcing the appointment of Lyn McDermid as secretary of administration. While mundane sounding, McDermid is tasked with several vital responsibilities, including bolstering Virginia’s cyber security. Just weeks ago, a ransomware attack crippled the IT agency serving the Virginia General Assembly, temporarily shuttering the computer systems for Virginia’s legislative agencies.

Bacon’s Rebellion adds:

McDermid has IT credentials out the wazoo — most notably, she served as chief information officer for the Federal Reserve Bank between 2013 and 2020 — and she is highly respected in the Richmond business community.

There is one small but telling detail in the press release, which lists McDermid’s many affiliations by name, and mentions that she had served as chief information officer at an unnamed “Richmond based Fortune 500 company.” That company was Dominion Energy. Is Team Youngkin trying to distance itself from the company, which was the architect behind the Virginia Clean Economy Act and its goal of a zero-carbon electric grid? Stay tuned.