Trump names proud climate-science denier to head EPA transition team


The White House, Washington, D.C.  [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]

The White House, Washington, D.C. [Creative Commons license by dcjohn]

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It didn't take long for the country to get its first indication of what a Donald Trump Administration could mean for U.S. climate policy.

Trump has repeatedly denied the science of climate change, calling it a "hoax" at times.

Prior to his Tuesday election victory, he also named a top climate-science denier to head his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team.

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The appointment of Myron Ebell to lead the EPA transition indicates Trump will attempt to "drastically reshape" the policies the agency pursued under the Obama Administration, according to Scientific American.

Ebell is the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.

He's known for frequent writings on climate-change "alarmism," and appears frequently in the media and before Congress to espouse these views, according to Scientific American.

Cooling tower at power plant, by Flickr user Paul J Everett (Used under CC License)

Cooling tower at power plant, by Flickr user Paul J Everett (Used under CC License)

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Ebell is also head of the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group of nonprofits that "question global warming alarmism and oppose energy-rationing policies."

He reportedly relishes criticism from the left for his views, even listing his inclusion in a Greenpeace "Field Guide to Climate Criminals" among his "recognitions" in a biography submitted when he testified before Congress.

Ebell has called the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan, which regulates greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, "illegal."

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He also said Obama's inclusion of the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement was "clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate's authority."

The agreement, which goes into effect this month, requires nations to submit and adhere to individual plans for reducing carbon emissions.

Trump has reportedly said he would "cancel" the agreement.

Coal, by Flicker user oatsy40 (Used Under CC License)

Coal, by Flicker user oatsy40 (Used Under CC License)

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Meanwhile, Trump's Department of Energy (DOE) transition team will he headed by Republican energy lobbyist Mike McKenna.

Now president of MWR Strategies, he previously worked as director of policy and external affairs for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality under then-Governor George Allen.

He was also an external relations specialist at the DOE under the George H.W. Bush Administration, according to Scientific American.

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McKenna's 2016 lobbying clients include Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, electric utility Southern Company Services, Dow Chemical Co., and Competitive Power Ventures Inc., the magazine noted.

One more Trump transition likely to cause concern among climate-policy advocates is David Bernhardt, who will head the Interior Department transition.

Bernhardt is co-chairman of the Natural Resources Department at the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, and served as the Interior Department's solicitor during the George W. Bush Administration.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our comments civil, respectful, and fact-based.

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