Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s energy policy to dig, drill, and frack as much fossil fuel out of the ground as possible only really works by denying two realities.
The first reality denied is that there is no global agreement to move the world away from the fuels that Trump thinks are the future.
The second reality denied, of course, is the existence of decades of scientific evidence linking fossil fuel burning to dangerous climate change.
As the U.S. media picks through the entrails from the first presidential debate, a few hours earlier it was revealed that should Trump win, Ebell would lead the Republican’s “EPA transition team” that would strip the agency of key powers.
Ebell has long fought the legitimacy of climate science while promoting fossil fuels — epitomizing Trump’s current approach to energy and climate science.
For the best part of 20 years, Ebell has been actively working in favor of the fossil fuel industry by attempting to undermine climate science.
In 1998, Ebell joined with the American Petroleum Institute and staff from fossil fuel companies Exxon, Chevron, and Southern Company to try to reshape how the U.S. people understood the risks of climate change.
In a multi-million dollar plan that was leaked, Ebell and others concluded that a “victory” would be theirs only when the public doubted the links between dangerous global warming and fossil fuel burning.
Over the years, the CEI, where Ebell works as the director of the Center for Energy and Environment, has accepted cash from fossil fuel interests including oil giant ExxonMobil and foundations funded and controlled by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
Ebell looks to be in good company in the Republican nominee’s camp.
In August, Trump’s team announced Kathleen Hartnett-White as one of several new additions to its “economic advisory team.”
Hartnett-White is another who doubts the well-established link between fossil fuel burning and climate change.
In a column last year, Hartnett-White lauded the “environmental benefits” of fossil fuel burning, while claiming the evidence for climate change was waning.
Hartnett-White is director of an energy and environment project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) — another group that has taken money from the Koch brothers.
In July, the TPPF released a “research booklet” written by contrarian Dr. Roy Spencer that attempted to undermine findings related to sea level rise, extreme temperatures, and other impacts from burning fossil fuels.
Hartnett-White is also an adviser to the CO2 Coalition — a group that includes extreme climate science denier Patrick Moore, who rejects any evidence for human-caused climate change.
Another Trump aide and potential energy secretary in a Trump presidency is Harold Hamm, the founder and CEO of major oil producer Continental Resources. Hamm has also been a donor to Cramer’s political campaigns. As DeSmog has reported, Hamm’s company could gain from any future decisions to allow the Keystone XL pipeline.
Trump’s Climate Hoax
During the presidential debate, climate change was barely mentioned. At one point, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton taunted Trump, saying that he “thinks climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.”
Trump interjected, saying “I do not say that,” going on to disparage solar power. He has claimed a tweet saying global warming was a concept “created by and for the Chinese” was a joke, but has continued to refer to climate change using terms like “hoax” since.
Given the “advisers” Trump is surrounding himself with so far, it seems unlikely he will get in touch with reality ahead of the November election.