Anne Idsal

Anne Idsal


  • J.D., Administrative Law, Baylor University School of Law (2010). [1]
  • B.A., Politics, Washington and Lee University (2005).


Anne L. Idsal is the principal deputy assistant administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, and now Acting Assistant Administrator following William Wehrum’s departure as of June 26, 2019. [2], [3], [4]

Idsal previously worked as the administrator for EPA‘s Region 6, which includes Texas, and also as the general counsel for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Before joining the EPA, Idsal was chief clerk in the Texas General Land Office [2]

Idsal is from a prominent Texas GOP family. Anne Armstrong, her grandmother, became the first female ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1976 under President Gerald Ford, serving for one year until the election of President Carter. Her mother, Katharine Armstrong, is a major Republican donor.

Idsal has spent most of her career in the public sector, including working as a legal assistant for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and as an intern in federal and Texas Supreme Court. She started working at TCEQ in 2010 and moved to the Texas General Land Office in 2013. [5]

Stance on Climate Change

December 28, 2017

Idsal expressed doubt on humanity’s role in climate change, in an interview with the Texas Observer[6]

She said there is “still a lot of ongoing science” on climate change and the “climate has been changing since the dawn of time, well before humans ever inhabited the Earth.”

I think it’s possible that humans have some type of impact on climate change,” she said. “I just don’t know the extent of that.”

Key Quotes

January 17, 2018

As part of former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s plan to speed the cleanup of Superfund sites across the U.S., Idsal commented on the proposed development of housing on a formerly-contaminated lot: [7]

“We are hopeful to see construction begin at some point this spring,” she said. “We have double and triple checked through soil samplings and water samplings that the site is clean. We will continue to do groundwater monitoring.”

Local activists were reportedly concerned lead contamination in the lot still lingered, despite the EPA‘s push to move forward within the project.

Key Deeds

June 26, 2019

As reported in an EPA press release, Anne Idsal would assume the responsibilities of the Acting Assistant Administrator following the departure of Bill Wehrum from that position. [8]

In that role, Idsal would be responsible for advancing the agenda previously brought in by Wehrum including the recent replacement of the Clean Power Plan with the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, which would loosen regulations on emitters of air pollution and carbon dioxide like coal power plants. [9]

E&E News‘s Greenwire reported as of July 1 that President Trump had yet to pick a permanent replacement for Wehrum, so Idsal could remain in the role for weeks or months. Some of the regulatory actions Idsal would be dealing with in the meantime includes the current administration’s rollback of Obama-era level fuel economy standards and emissions controls for vehicles, changes to the New Source Review program that would apply to power companies’ applications for upgrades and expansions and changes to the Obama era mercury and air toxics standards for power plants. [10]

July 24, 2018

As reported later at Grist, Idsal signed the Trump Ethics Pledge, and disclosed her potential financial conflicts of interest as part of her starting her role in the Trump Administration. In the original document, Idsal discloses she would receive “passive income” from her involvement in the family business, Idsal Family Properties Management, and so agreed not to participate in matters that would have a “a direct and predictable financial effect” on the company. [9]

In addition, she would be disqualified from participating in matters involving the Valley Crossing Pipeline, for which she has “an interest in a pipeline easement.” [11]

April 24, 2018

Idsal spoke at the Alliance Oil & Gas Symposium in Wichita Falls, Texas, “engaging the energy sector in discussions about the environment,” according to a tweet by EPA Region 6. [12]

April 20, 2018

Idsal spoke on an EarthX panel on “EarthxResponsible Oil & Gas.” According to the press release, that panel “explores the initiatives and technologies allowing oil and gas companies to be sustainable stewards in their global operations.” [13]

Other speakers on the oil and gas panel included Myles Culhane, Assistant General Counsel with Occidental Petroleum; Ryan Sitton, Texas Railroad Commissioner; and The Honorable James A. Baker III, 61st United States Secretary of State. [13]

December 28, 2017

Shortly after she began working as regional advisor for EPA Region 6, encompassing Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and 66 tribal nations, Idsal expressed uncertainty about climate change. According to the Texas Observer, which interviewed her on her 2nd day on the job, Idsal echoed a number of then-EPA-administrator Scott Pruitt‘s positions on climate. [6]


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA— Principal deputy assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation (since Apr 2019). Former regional advisor for Dallas, TX (2017 – 2019). [1]
  • Texas General Land Office — Chief clerk (Apr 2015 – Dec 2017). Former general counsel (December 2014 – April 2015). [1]
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality — General counsel (Nov 2013 – Nov 2014). Former special counsel and executive assistant to chairman Bryan Shaw (Feb 2011 – Oct 2013). assistant general counsel (Sept 2010 – Jan 2011). [1]
  • Judge O’Connor (Northern District of Texas) — Intern (Jun 2009 – Jul 2009). [1]
  • Justice Harriet O’Neill — Intern (May–Jun 2009). [1]
  • United States Senate Judiciary Committee — Legal assistant (Dec 2006 – Dec 2007). [1]
  • Senator John Cornyn — Legislative correspondent (Sept 2005 – Dec 2006) and staff assistant (Jul 2005 – Sept 2005). [1]
  • Bush-Cheney ’04 — Intern in operations division working on “voter outreach through various media.” [1]

Social Media

  • Anne Idsal on LinkedIn.
  • @EPAregion6 on Twitter regularly posted while Idsal was administrator of the region.


Idsal does not appear to be actively writing articles, editorials, or other news pieces.


  1. Anne Idsal,” LinkedIn. Accessed June 26, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  2. About the Assistant Administrator of EPA‘s Office of Air and Radiation,” EPA. Archived July 3, 2019. URL
  3. Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis. “Top EPA official resigns amid scrutiny over possible ethics violations,” The Washington Post, June 26, 2019. Archived June 26, 2019. URL
  4. Bill Wehrum, an Author of Trump Administration’s Pro-Coal Rules, to Leave E.P.A.,” The New York Times, June 26, 2019. Archived June 26, 2019. URL:
  5. Jeff Mosier. “Baylor Law grad with connections to ranching and Bush family to head EPA‘s Dallas office,” Dallas News, December 11, 2017. Archived July 3, 2019. URL:
  6. Naveena Sadasivam. “Latest Texan to Join Trump’s EPA is Still Deciding if She Believes in Climate Change,” The Texas Observer, December 28, 2017. Archived July 2, 2019. URL:
  7. Travis Bubenik. “Housing Development At Houston Superfund Site Moving Forward,” Houston Public Media, January 17, 2018. Archived July 3, 2019. URL:
  8. (Press Release). “Statement of Administrator Andrew Wheeler regarding the departure of Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum,” EPA, June 26, 2019. Archived July 2, 2019. URL:
  9. Naveena Sadasivam. “There’s a new EPA air sheriff in town, and she’s got a shaky grasp on climate,” Grist, June 28, 2019. Archived July 3, 2019. URL:
  10. 8 rules on the new air chief’s agenda,Greenwire, July 1, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  11. Kevin Bogardus and Corbin Hiar. “Superfund nominee to steer clear of dozens of cleanups,” E&E News, August 6, 2018. Archived July 3, 2019. URL:
  12. EPA Regional Administrator Idsal at the Alliance Oil & Gas Symposium in Wichita Falls, TX, today, engaging the energy sector in discussions about the environment. @TexasAllianceEP,” Tweet by user @EPAregion6, April 24, 2018. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  13. (Press Release). “400 Environmental Thought Leaders Confirmed to Speak at EarthX from April 13-22 in Dallas,” BusinessWire, April 13, 2018. Archived July 3, 2019. URL

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