Thursday, November 10, 2016
Although it is a couple of months old, an interesting story about the head of Donald Trump's EPA transition team has surfaced at Hacker News:
Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.And, much later:
Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump's transition plans for EPA, the sources said.
Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration. Ebell's role is likely to infuriate environmentalists and Democrats but buoy critics of Obama's climate rules.
More recently, Ebell has called the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan for greenhouse gases illegal and said that Obama joining the Paris climate treaty "is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate's authority."If Ebell's institutional affiliation is giving you a sense of déjà vu, it might be because of news from the not-so-distant past: Recall that the Competitive Enterprise Institute was one of the organizations targeted by a group of state attorneys general in a fishing expedition meant to intimidate dissent from global warming alarmism and advocacy of energy rationing.
He told Vanity Fair in 2007, "There has been a little bit of warming ... but it's been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it's caused by human beings or not, it's nothing to worry about." [links in original]
Assuming Scientific American is correct that this appointment represents a plan by Trump to reverse some of Barack Obama's more disastrous energy policies, this move might be very good news, short-term. My enthusiasm for the appointment is limited by the knowledge that, even if this is correct, Donald Trump himself will do a poor job of explaining or defending it, missing a golden opportunity to win minds in favor of the use of fossil fuels. That said, such a development would fall under my "second-best-case" scenario for what a Trump presidency might bring: A slowing-down of the leftist political ratchet, and thus more time for advocates of liberty to make our own cases.