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Ann Marie Buerkle Is the Wrong Choice to Lead Nation’s Consumer Safety Agency

Statement of Remington A. Gregg, Counsel for Civil Justice and Consumer Rights, Public Citizen's Congress Watch Division

Note: Public Citizen sent a letter this morning to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee opposing the nomination of Ann Marie Buerkle to serve as head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The Trump administration has become accustomed to installing agency heads who are fundamentally unfit to lead the agency they have been nominated to lead. Buerkle has built a reputation opposing strong health and safety regulations, from safety technology for use on table saws that would reduce the risk of finger amputations to rulemaking that would protect drivers from recreational off-highway vehicles.

We are particularly concerned by Acting Chair Buerkle’s continued opposition to mandatory standards limiting carbon monoxide emissions in portable generators – even after several people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma due to inhaling high levels of carbon monoxide.

We are also very concerned about reports that Buerkle recommended an industry lawyer and board member of the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association to be general counsel of the CPSC; getting to the bottom of those reports should be an absolute prerequisite to a vote on her nomination.

Public Citizen takes seriously the mission of the CPSC to protect Americans from unreasonable injury and death. We are concerned that Acting Chair Buerkle does not, and we therefore cannot support her continued tenure.