Having dismissed the concept of global warming as “alarmism” and “nothing to worry about,” Donald Trump’s possible pick to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency is riled progressives and those who advocate for policies based on the idea that global climate change is due principally to man-made causes.
The Financial Times has referred to Myron Ebell – who is reportedly serving on Trump’s EPA transition team – as one of “America’s most prominent climate change skeptics.” Trump himself has called the concept of global warming as “a total, and very expensive, hoax,” and added, “I’m not a believer in man-made global warming.”
Ebell currently heads the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), and also chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition.
According to CEI, the organization seeks to “question global warming alarmism and oppose energy rationing policies.” Climate change skeptic Ebell is not only opposed to Obama’s Clean Power Plan, but also to the Paris climate agreement. He recently said of Federalist Radio that the Paris accord, “I don’t want to say it’s a disaster, but I think it is potentially a disaster for humankind and not necessarily any good for the planet.”
Back in 2007, Ebell said the “little bit of warming” the world has experienced is “nothing to worry about,” whether or not it is manmade. Speaking to Vanity Fair, he said, “I’m not a climate scientist. I’m just giving you the informed layman’s perspective.” Ebell continued, saying “If science is going to be discussed in the public arena, then shouldn’t people other than scientists be allowed to participate? Isn’t that what a representative democracy is?”
During the George W. Bush administration in the early 2000s, it was revealed that administration officials had sought help from “conservative lobby groups funded by the oil industry to attack U.S. government scientists if they produce work seen as accepting too readily that pollution is an issue,” according to the Guardian. Among them was Myron Ebell of CEI, who had kept in touch with Phil Cooney, who was chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
According to ThinkProgress, a leftist website, the fact that Ebell is being considered by Trump is “proof that Trump would seek to undo any recent achievements to address the threat of climate change.” It concluded, “Donald Trump’s new economic policy plan would be devastating to the climate.”
Among Trump’s proposals are the elimination of the Clean Power Plan, and to reform certain EPA regulations. He has also proposed to open up further land and offshore areas for drilling.
Other business-friendly advisors to Trump include Forrest Lucas, a cattle rancher and oil executive, who is a contender to head the Secretary of the Interior. Another is Harold Hamm, who is rumored to be considered for Energy Secretary.