Incoming Sen. Rounds taps former ethanol lobbyist to lead transition team

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, November 17, 2014

A former lobbyist for the nation’s largest ethanol producer will continue to figure prominently in the staff of incoming Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).

Rob Skjonsberg, who served as an executive at Poet LLC between 2007 and 2012, will lead the new senator’s transition team, according to congressional staffing database LegiStorm. South Dakota is the nation’s sixth-largest ethanol-producing state; Poet operates six plants within the state’s borders.

Skjonsberg managed Rounds’ successful campaign for Senate against Democrat Rick Weiland. Between 2003 and 2007, he also served as chief of staff for Rounds when the latter was governor of South Dakota.