Trump Administration Nominates Holly Greaves to Most Important EPA Post You’ve Never Heard of

Reports E&E News’s Kevin Bogardus & Hannah Northey ($):

President Trump this afternoon tapped U.S. [Environmental Protection Agency] Administrator Scott Pruitt’s senior budget aide to handle the agency’s finances.

The president announced his intent to nominate Holly Greaves as EPA chief financial officer …

Greaves was at EPA before Pruitt’s Senate confirmation last February as a member of the president’s “beachhead” team. As senior adviser for budget and audit, she provides financial counsel to staff and the administrator.

Greaves appeared alongside her boss this past June at House and Senate hearings on the president’s fiscal 2018 budget, which proposed cutting EPA funds by roughly 30 percent, or more than $2 billion.

Before EPA, Greaves was a senior manager at accounting giant KPMG LLP, where she worked with federal agencies on their finances. She also has worked for Ernst & Young.

Greaves, a Tennessee native, has a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting as well as a master’s in accountancy from the University of Tennessee. She is a licensed CPA.

“Holly is exceptionally qualified to be our chief financial officer and has been an integral advisor to the Agency as we look to enact meaningful fiscal reforms and eliminate wasteful spending,” Pruitt said in a statement today.

As I’ve been trumpeting for some time, the agency’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a key appointment because the agency’s budget is an ungodly mess that precludes congressional oversight.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s CFO runs an office whose duty is to work with the Office of Management and Budget to produce a budget for congressional consideration. Mind you, Congress’s budget processes are supposed to be an integral component by which the legislature supervises the executive branch through the exercise of the power of the purse. However, the EPA has avoided congressional scrutiny by submitting budget justifications that make no sense. In obfuscating how it spends taxpayer money, the EPA makes it impossible to “follow the money”—that is, the agency hopes to defeat congressional oversight. Thus, during the Obama administration, the EPA managed to ignore its congressional mandates, and instead pour resources into discretionary activities—primarily climate change policies—that the agency chose of its own accord.

In light of the EPA’s past practices, members of Congress should press Greaves to ensure that she is committed to producing an intelligible budget that allows for congressional oversight.