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Counselor, Energy and Environment

On December 4th, 2019, it was reported Kevin O’Scannlain would be joining Interior “covering energy and environment issues.” The exact nature of his duties is unclear. 

Prior to joining Interior, O’Scannlain previously served as a Special Assistant for Economic Policy, National Economic Council from in 2019 and Senior Associate Counsel to the President, Office of the White House Counsel from 2017 to 2019.

Before joining the Trump administration, O’Scannlain was Senior Counsel for Chevron from 2012 to 2017. He was Of Counsel with DLA Piper from 2005 to 2012.  O’Scannlain previously served as Senior Counsel for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee from 2003 to 2005.

O’Scannlain graduated from Notre Dame Law School in 1998, where he was also president of the student Federalist Society and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross in 1992. O’Scannlain is originally from Portland, Oregon.

[“Playbook: Get ready for the circus,” POLITICO, 12/4/19, “Playbook: Get ready for the circus,” POLITICO, 12/4/19, Kevin O’Scannlain LinkedIn Profile, accessed 12/09/19, Washington Legal Foundation Web Seminar Series Speakers’ Biographies, accessed 12/09/19, Notre Dame Lawyer Fall/Winter 1997, accessed 12/09/19, Holy Cross Football Weekend at Georgetown Attendee List search for Kevin O’Scannlain, accessed 12/10/09]

 

Background Information

Previous Employers

 

White House

At the White House, O’Scannlain advised on economic-related strategies and proposals while Special Assistant for Economic Policy on the National Economic Council.

As the Senior Associate Counsel of the President, he worked on issues including rulemaking, executive orders, interagency disputes, and environmental matters including the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, the Waters of the United States Rule and executive orders on water, wildfires and national monuments. He worked with agencies including the EPA, Interior and the Department of Energy.

[Kevin O’Scannlain LinkedIn Profile, accessed 12/09/19]

 

Chevron

As Senior Counsel at Chevron, O’Scannlain was a member of its Law Department’s Compliance, Investigations & Policy group, and served as an expert on political activity laws, corporate responsibility laws, and communications. O’Scannlain claimed he conducted more than a dozen internal investigations.

O’Scannlain was never registered to lobby on behalf of Chevron according to the United States Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database.

[Kevin O’Scannlain LinkedIn Profile, accessed 12/09/19, Kevin O’Scannlain Profile, The Masters Conference, accessed 12/09/19, United States Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database Search for Kevin O’Scannlain, accessed 12/10/19]

 

DLA Piper LLP

O’Scannlain lobbied for DLA Piper from 2005 to the end of 2011 for multiple clients including Drummond Inc., which calls itself “a global leader in coal production.” O’Scannlain was registered to lobby for them from February 2006 to the end of 2006 and DLA Piper reported a total of $60,000.  

According to a speaker biography, issues O’Scannlain represented clients in front of the government on issues including “tort liability reform; intellectual property; taxation; internet sales and other public policy matters.”

[United States Senate Lobbying Disclosure Act Database Search for Kevin O’Scannlain, accessed 12/09/19, Drummond Company, Inc., accessed 12/09/19, Washington Legal Foundation Web Seminar Series Speakers’ Biographies, accessed 12/09/19]

 

United States Senate Judiciary Committee

As senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and its Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, O’Scannlain’s duties included “drafting and negotiating legislation, drafting hearing statements and floor speeches, and developing and coordinating legislative strategies with Senate and House leadership.” His primary area focus was on civil justice reform issues.

[Washington Legal Foundation Web Seminar Series Speakers’ Biographies, accessed 12/09/19]</small

 

Political Connections

According to the Federal Elections Commission website Kevin O’Scannlain has given $8,775 in contributions between 2002 and 2017.

O’Scannlain’s contributions included a total of $1,100 to John McCain, a total of $2,050 to the Chevron Employees Political Action Committee and $1,150 to the DLA Piper Political Action Committee. 

[Federal Elections Commission search for Kevin O’Scannlain, accessed 12/10/19]

 

Other Information

Letter to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the United States

When O’Scannlain was still employed with Chevron, he was a cosigner on a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that expressed “strong support” for the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General of the United States. 

[Letter to Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein, 01/06/17]