John Skvarla

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John Skvarla
John Skvarla.jpg
North Carolina Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
Former officeholder
In office
January 5, 2013 - January 2015
PredecessorDee Freeman
Base salary$128,000
Elections and appointments
AppointedDecember 2012
Appointed byGov. Pat McCrory (R)
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sManhattan College
J.D.University Of North Carolina School of Law
Office website
John Skvarla is the former North Carolina Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources. He served in this position from his appointment in 2013 until he left office in January 2015.[1]


Prior to being named Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Skvarla served as chief operating officer for Restoration Systems, an environmental mitigation firm. He has also been chief operating officer for The Aviation Group, Inc., managing director of investment banking office in Raleigh and owner of a Sandhills golf course community.

An attorney by trade, Skvarla founded the firm of Skvarla, Wyrick and Robbins in 1978, where he served as senior partner.[2]


  • B.A. in economics from Manhattan College in New York
  • Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law

Political career

Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (2013-2015)

Skvarla served as North Carolina Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources from January 5, 2013, to January 2015. He was appointed to this position by Gov. Pat McCrory (R).[1]


Skvarla provided his stances on several environmental issues in an interview with WRAL-TV's Laura Leslie.[3]


"Clearly the resources are going to be protected. We are not going to go backward in air and water quality protection," Skvarla said. His agency, he said, will work with the Mining and Energy Commission to develop the rules needed to ensure drilling can be done safely. "The good news is they are not re-inventing the wheel. This is something that has existed historically."[3]

Renewable Energy

"Renewable energy, number one, is not cost effective right now. It requires subsidy," Skvarla said. "At some point in time the trade off has to be protection of the environment, and the ability to create jobs and to take care of the here and now. Do you invest $1 billion for something that's 20 years from now versus cleaning up dirty water right now that somebody's drinking?"[3]

Climate Change

"I think climate change is a science and I think science is constantly in need of scrutiny," Skvarla said. He said there is still "a great divergence of opinion on the science of climate" and that more dialog is needed.[3]



Skvarla was appointed as North Carolina Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on December 2012.[1]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Dee Freeman
North Carolina Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources
Succeeded by
Donald van der Vaart