On May 31, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated John Bryson to head the U.S. Commerce Department. Bryson is a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which he left in 1974. Bryson has since worked as a state regulator and served as a chief executive at Edison International for eighteen years. Since his retirement from Edison International in 2008, Bryson has been a senior adviser to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and has sat on the boards for Walt Disney Co.’s Board and for Boeing’s Board. Bryson also served on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.
Bryson’s nomination sparked opposition from Senate Republicans, who focused on Bryson’s connections with environmental advocacy. On May 31, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a statement that he “will be working actively to defeat this nomination.”
A link to Senator Inhofe’s statement is available here.