Trump Stacks the Deck Against the Environment
One should never underestimate unelected President Donald Trump in his relentless search to find even more anti-environment senior officials to join him.
The latest proposed appointee is Jeffrey Clark, nominated to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources.
Clark will, if approved by Congress, would suppose to be its lead legal brain to help fight for environmental justice on behalf of the Trump administration. Based on his past history, it looks far clearer that he will instead fight against environmental rights and support the cause of big business.
Evidence for this comes from two key items from Clark’s background. First is his statement at a 2014 panel discussion where he said that climate change was far from proven and should be questioned. Second is a track record in his private legal practice of representing corporations, such as BP, who attacked – rather than supported – environmental regulations.
On the issue about Climate Change, when Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-california, asked him during his approval hearing whether he stood by his 2014 statements, the most positive thing you can say for Clark is that on this answer he was at least open about his answer. There he said, “I think that I stand by it because there are clearly scientists and private entities who disagree with federal regulation in that area that as a positive prediction they would contest those issues and several bodies have”.
Later, after pressure about other issues involved with environmental issues, Clark became more guarded. Instead of answering the questions, he said he would simply follow the law. Regarding his own personal beliefs on the issues at hand, he claimed those were not relevant because the law was all that mattered.
Clark, when he presumably does assume the position of head environmental legal protector for the United States, is in good company as someone who is actively doing his best to protect business at the cost of endangered species and the health of the planet. The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott “Pro-pollution” Pruitt, also believes climate change is questionable, and says that many scientists disagree that human civilization and greenhouse gases are accelerating our planet’s environmental collapse. Pruitt also comes from a state track record where he fought to roll back environmental regulation if it meant big business might be slowed in any way in their path to grow. Then there is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who, while not in a direct line to change regulations regarding destruction of the environment has, through his past years as the former Chief Executive Office of Exxon/mobil, already shown his stripes as a defender of fossil fuel emissions at the cost of global warming and the end of the world as we know it.
Look to future appointees to join in the anti-environment chorus already forming from Trump, Pruitt, Tillerson, and now, soon, Jeffrey Clark.