If Donald Trump should win the White House in November, the man who would oversee his administration’s leadership of the Environmental Protection Agency has made a career as a climate change denier. It’s the clearest sign yet that when Trump says climate change is a “hoax,” he means to turn that assertion into a centerpiece of his environmental policy as president.
Trump has tapped Myron Ebell, a leading climate change denier, to lead his EPA transition, according to the Climate Wire and other outlets. Ebell is the director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank funded by the Koch brothers and oil and gas companies. (The organization also orchestrated the latest legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act in 2015.) He also chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition, a group that questions “global warming alarmism.”
In selecting Ebell, Trump is sending a clear signal that, if elected, he would drastically roll back progress in addressing climate change. Ebell has called President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan “illegal” and the Paris Climate Accord a “usurpation of the Senate’s authority.” Any small increase in global temperatures, he has said, is “nothing to worry about.”
In addition to Ebell, Trump has selected Mike McKenna, a lobbyist for the energy industry, to lead the transition at the Department of Energy. According to Politico, McKenna has “ties to the industry-backed American Energy Alliance and Institute for Energy Research” and “lobbied for the Dow Chemical Company, Southern Company and Koch Companies Public Sector.”
There seems to be skepticism that Trump would actually implement some of his most outlandish proposals, from mass deportation of undocumented immigrants to walking away from NATO allies. But when it comes to making his belief that global warming is “bullshit” into national policy, Trump appears to be moving full-steam ahead.