A Wyoming lawyer who served former presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan has been proposed as the top environmental attorney for the Department of Justice.
President George W. Bush plans to nominate Thomas Sansonetti to be assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources division.
"Thomas Sansonetti will be an asset to the Department of Justice," said Attorney General John Ashcrost. "His expertise and impressive level of experience will ensure a strong Environment Division. I look forward to working with him to enforce environmental law and put our goals for the Department into action."
Sansonetti is a partner with the law firm of Holland and Hart in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he specializes in environment and natural resources law, including cases regarding endangered species, water law, mining regulations and Superfund sites.
Before joining the firm in 1993, he served as solicitor of the Department of Interior under the George Bush administration. He acted as the primary legal advisor to Interior Secretary Manuel Luajn, Jr., managed a $32 million administrative budget and oversaw the 900 case legal docket.
Sansonetti served as one of the six federal negotiators for the Exxon Valdez oil spill settlement and was also appointed counsel to the Endangered Species Committee for the spotted owl hearings in Oregon.
He has also served as administrative assistant and legislative director to Wyoming Representative Craig Thomas, and was appointed associate solicitor for energy and resources by Interior Secretary Don Hodel during the last two years of the Reagan administration.
Sansonetti was appointed by former President George Bush to chair the Presidential Commission on Western Water Policy Review from 1993-1995.