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Apr 03 2017

Anderson says TCEQ Employees Underpaid

His regulatory reduction plan calls for a 25% increase in employee pay.

(Houston) – April 3, 2017

Jed Anderson, who recently unveiled a four-point plan to reduce regulatory burdens, said his plan includes a 25% increase in employee pay.

“These are talented and dedicated people.”  “They need to be paid more.”

Anderson said that he believes TCEQ pay is not commensurate with the level of work TCEQ employees are currently performing, and will be inadequate for the work he will be asking them to perform if appointed Commissioner.   “We have a difficult task ahead of us in simplifying the environmental regulatory system.  We need to retain and attract the best, the brightest, and the hardest working individuals out there.”  “TCEQ is replete with these individuals, and we need to keep them here and attract even more of them.”

tceq-headquarters 750xx1280-720-0-0Anderson elaborated on his plan.  Anderson’s four-point plan includes:  (1) a 25% cut in the TCEQ budget; (2) two regulatory requirements out for every one added; (3) a 50% cut in regulation; and (4) consolidated and simplified regulatory programs.  Anderson said that the 25% increase in employee pay and 25% cut in the budget will be offset by a reduction in the workforce over a period of time as less regulators are necessary under a simplified regulatory system.

EPA is on a similar path, though President Trump has not committed to increasing pay to EPA employees.  An Executive Order was signed by President Trump requiring two regulations removed for every one added.  President Trump also committed to reducing regulations by 75%.  Also, a proposed budget was submitted to Congress to reduce EPA spending by 31%.

Environmental Agencies have gotten Huge

William Ruckelhaus, the first Administrator of the EPA commented on the expansive size of the EPA in a recent radio interview, agreeing with a reporter’s question that the size of EPA “has run amok”.

Ruckelshaus - 1st EPA Administrator

Did his creation [the EPA] get out of control and run amok?

“I almost hate to say yes, because it will skew what I’m about to say. But the answer is yes. When we started EPA we had 2,000 people, in 1970. We now have 15,000.”

Ruckelshaus says the EPA was a victim of its own success. He was called back in during the Reagan administration to fix it. (See http://knkx.org/post/former-epa-head-says-regulatory-system-could-stand-reform-not-elimination).

Similarly, the size of TCEQ has grown significantly since the inception of its initial agencies.  TCEQ now has over 2,700 employees.  It is touted as the second largest environmental agency in the world.

“Having the second largest environmental regulatory agency in the world is not something to boast about.”  “We should be proud of our agency and what it’s accomplished, but not the fact that it’s a larger environmental regulatory body than any nation in the world.  That’s something to question . . . not tout.”

Anderson likened what needs to happen to a fruit tree.  “If you want abundant and healthy fruit, you need to prune the tree from time-to-time.  Otherwise the branches that no longer bear abundant fruit draw nourishment away from the tree.  It is difficult and painful work, and the tree never likes it, but its the only way to grow more and healthier fruit.”

“The fact is that we can greatly simplify our regulatory system and improve environmental performance.”

Anderson said that if he is asked to serve as Commissioner he will do so only under the condition that his Commissioner salary be reduced by 25%.  “If I’m asking TCEQ to tighten its belt, I need to tighten my own.”  “TCEQ employees will be getting more money under my plan, but I will be getting less.  That’s the way it needs to be for us to succeed–and we will succeed.”

For more information on Anderson’s plan, please see the following recent articles in TexasEnvironmentalNews.com:


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