Trump Stacks the Deck Against the En­vi­ron­ment

Traveling Minds - - Table Of Contents -

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.

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