Doug Domenech

Doug Domenech


  • B.S., Forestry and Wildlife Management, Virginia Tech (1978). [1]


Douglas Domenech is the former secretary of natural resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia and current director of the Fueling Freedom Project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF)[1]

Domenech worked in several capacities for the U.S. Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. His roles between 2001 to 2009 included White House liaison during the Bush Administration and deputy chief of staff.

In 2017, Domenech was named Senior White House Advisor to the Department of the Interior in the Trump administration. He also served on Donald Trump’s transition team for the Interior.[1], [2], [3], [4]

Doug Domenech spent several years working in the forestry industry including 12 years with the Forest Resources Association, an industry trade association. Domenech was the Senior Vice President of the lobbying firm Artemis Strategies. He was also a principal at Chrysalis Energy Partners, an energy consulting firm. [5], [6],  [1]

Governor Jim Gilmore appointed Domenech to the Virginia Board of Forestry. Domenech also on Governor George Allen’s Commonwealth Competition Council. He was the former executive director of the National Center for Home Education, a division of the Home School Legal Defense Association in Purcellville, and was executive director of the Madison Project, a conservative Republican political action committee. [7]

TPPF‘s Fueling Freedom project seeks to “Explain the forgotten moral case for fossil fuels” while “building a multi-state coalition to push back against the EPA‘s unconstitutional efforts to take over the electric power sector by regulating CO2 via the Clean Power Plan.” [8], [9] Previously Domenech has promoted the views of a small fringe of contrarians scientists who reject concerns over human-caused climate change and has dismissed efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions using national and International programs.

Doug Domenech is the father of Ben Domenech, a conservative activist and blogger for the Washington Post who faced allegations of plagiarism, to which he subsequently admitted. [10], [11]

Stance on Climate Change

December 13, 2016

Promoting the “At the Crossroads: Energy and Climate Summit,” co-sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Heritage Foundation, Domenech said: [12]

“Speaking truth to power, these experts had a common message in response to the age-old questions: Is climate change real? Yes, it has happened in the past and will happen in the future.  Is man making an impact on the climate? Perhaps but in very small ways. But the overarching consensus remains the climate change we are experiencing is by no means catastrophic.”

Speaking of the climate change deniers at the conference such as Richard Lindzen, Willie Soon, Will Happer, Craig Idso, David Legates, and others, Domenech said “I would say, thank you for your service.” [12]

May 17, 2016

Writing at RealClear Energy, Doug Domenech cites a Heritage Foundation study as proof that the 97% consensus of scientists on man-made climate change is a “myth”: [13]

“On Earth Day, The Heritage Foundation published, ‘The State of Climate Science: No Justification for Extreme Policies.’ The report reviews much of what climate apologists insist is true including the myth that 97 percent of all climate scientists agree on global warming. That is a powerful rhetorical point and often quoted by the President, but it is also false and based on a faulty review of the abstracts of a limited number of papers,” Domenech wrote. [13]

“There is little doubt that the proposed solution to the CO2 ‘problem’ will be all-pain with no-gain. The high cost will produce an immeasurable difference in CO2 concentrations,” he added. [13]

December 23, 2015

Writing in The Federalistafter describing the Paris Climate Agreement as a “illegal, unconstitutional, and scientifically flawed ‘agreement’ that in the end will not prevent the earth’s climate from changing,” Douglas Domenech declared: [14]

“The climate changes—deal with it.”

November 12, 2015

Writing in the Washington Examiner, Doug Domenech suggests that climate change is a subject that can be explained by eighth grade earth science: [15]

“Having many friends in the political and policy spheres, I do not know a single Republican who does not believe the climate is changing. If you remember your basic eighth grade earth science you will recall that the earth has a constantly changing climate from ice ages to warming periods, and our current climate is not some new objective standard that must be held constant.” [15]

Key Quotes

April 14, 2016

Writing at the National Review, Domenech claims that the Paris Climate Agreement will have no benefits to society: [16]

“In order to achieve the unmeasurably small climate benefit of 0.018 degree Celsius, the United States would have to wreak havoc on the economy, jobs, and electricity rates — and, in the process, on the lives of millions of people. While life on Earth is improving, the U.N. policy would only reverse what has been achieved. Earth Day resulted in tangible benefits to society. The Paris agreement will not.” [16]

February 21, 2016

Quoted in the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Domenech said that the climate benefits of phasing out coal is “questionable”: [17]

 “It is no surprise to anyone that this Administration wants to regulate out of existence coal mining and the use of coal in energy production. While the climate benefits of such a move are questionable, there has been a clear real impact on coal communities, families and associated industries that rely on the production and use of this plentiful, efficient, low-cost natural energy source.” [17]

In the same article, Domenech accuses President Obama of ignoring climate science: [17]

“President Obama made certain environmental promises to core constituencies and donors to rein in the use of fossil fuels, which they blame for changing the weather – er, the climate – ignoring complicated climate science, everything we know about the earth’s climate history (think – naturally WAY cooler and WAY hotter in the past), and the fact that UN climate models consistently overestimate the climate’s sensitivity to increasing levels of CO2[17]

[…] Denial is part of addiction. No matter how much you insist that the subject of climate is not open to debate, the debate rages on.” [17]

May 5, 2015

Domenech declares in an article he wrote for The Federalist: [18]

“The Clean Power Plan will require states to ask ‘Mother, may I?’ when it comes to electricity production. In this case, the mother is McCarthy’s EPA office.”[18]

November 10, 2015

Writing at the Morning Consult, in an article titled “The Climate Addiction,” Domenech reframes the “war on coal” as a “war on coal families”: [19]

“The War on Coal is really a war on coal families. Hardworking middle-class families with hopes and dreams for their children. A war based on a radical and questionable scientific premise, a desire to be loved at home and abroad by a small environmentalist minority, and a proven flawed economic theory of centralized government control.” [19]

Key Deeds

November 21, 2016

Doug Domenech was added to Donald Trump’s energy and environmental transition team, taking on the lead of the Interior team which was previously headed by another former Bush Interior official, David Bernhardt, E&E News reported. [4]

The Center for Biological Diversity issued the following statement in response to Domenech’s appointment: [20]

It’s beyond frightening that Trump would appoint a shill for Big Oil to plot the direction of a department that administers millions of acres of public lands that belong to all Americans,” said Randi Spivak, the Center’s public lands director. “This is a clear signal that in a Trump administration it will be open season for corporations who want to frack, drill or mine our public resources, regardless of climate chaos, water pollution, species extinction and health impacts to communities. Any attempt to open up America’s public lands to increased fracking, drilling and extraction will be met with a wall of public resistance. That’s the real moral imperative.” [20]

November 16, 2016

Doug Domenech, writing at RealClear Energy, celebrated Donald Trump and suggests that the prior administration’s “unrelenting commitment to ‘fighting’ climate change” as well as restrictions on oil and gas drilling on federal lands and offshore has had a “harmful impact on local communities and the economy.” [21]

Speaking on Trump’s new energy plans, including the rescinding of the coal mining lease moratorium and other “anti-coal” regulations, Domenech wrote: [21]

“These policies will reinvigorate communities across the nation. Especially those most seriously impacted by the current restrictive energy policies.

“The purpose of these new policies is to stop the intrusion of government into the marketplace. Coal may not come back, but it should at least be allowed to compete on a level playing field against natural gas and so-called “green” energy such as wind and solar.” [21]

Domenech then invites readers to attend the co-hosted Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation event, the third annual “At the Crossroads: Energy and Climate Policy Summit.” [21]

September 7, 2016

Doug Domenech went on One America News Network to discuss the “EPA‘s regulatory overreach.” Domenech says that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is out of control. [22]

“I think EPA is out of control because of this tendency to want to continue to impose new regulations,” Domenech said. “Another great example is they are pushing for a new ozone standard while the last standard is still being implemented.”

August 26, 2016

Doug Domenech appeared on the Bill Martinez show where he talked about global warming and environmentalism. Domenech’s talk was titled “Should We Be Having Kids In The Age Of Climate Change? [23], [24]

“The essence of the way environmental people think, when you really boil it down, is that the way we can protect our kids is not to have them in the first place,” Domenech told Martinez.[23]

Referring to professor Travis N. Rieder from John Hopkins University, Domenech said Rieder was lecturing students and claiming that “for us to protect ourselves from global warming, and especially to protect kids and people in Africa, that we should have fewer kids in America.”

Domenech said this was “a complete turning over of the principle that people are our most important resource.” [23]

Bill Martinez went on to discuss abortion, which said was eliminating “some 56 million plus of our labour force [..] because of the eugenics movement, Margaret Sanger, and Planned Parenthood.”  Martinez asks, “Is this the same type of philosophy, just in a different shape and form?” to which Domenech replies: [23]

“Well, it is. And you might remember Paul Ehrlich, he’s a noted environmental guy, wrote The Population Bomb. And as well as Margaret Sanger and her eugenics. And Lester Brown is another name—he’s just written a book called Full Planet, Empty Plate. […] The essence of the philosophy of these people is that we need to return the Earth to its pre-human state, and that’s the only thing that’s going to satisfy them.”  [23]

Domenech lumps global warming in with a list of supposed non-problems, including global cooling, mass starvation, resource depletion, and species extinctions: [23]

“Back in the 70s, one of the great failed environmental predictions was global cooling,” he said.  “In the mid 1700s we were still in the midst of a little ice age, and cooling was a very significant problem, and it remains a big problem. And, of course, that led us to talking about overpopulation—that has not really been a problem.” [23]

He says another “non-problem” is mass starvation, as “our food production is bigger than ever.” [23]

Talking about resource depletion, Domenech pointed to fracking as the reason why “we’ve got more oil and gas than ever.” [23]

“Mass extinction of species – and that has really not happened,” he said. [23] 

“That, of course, leads us to global warming, where we are today. These are all these big constructs that we need to worry about, and this is just the latest.” [23]

Domenech had written an article covering similar issues a day prior in RealClear Energy titled “Your Damn Children are Killing the Planet.” [25]

April 19, 2016

Doug Domenech released a statement on behalf of the Texas Public Policy  Foundation on the removal of the extension of renewable energy subsidies from the must-pass reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration: [26]

We are pleased that leadership in the U.S. Senate removed the troublesome tax incentives and credits attached to the FAA Reauthorization bill,” said Doug Domenech. “Energy production in America should be based on the free market, not artificially propped up in ways that mask the real cost to the consumer and the taxpayer.” [26]

TPPF was one of 33 groups that included Americans for Prosperity to send a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) asking that expiring renewable energy subsidies not be attached to a must-pass reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, describing them as “green pork” provisions.  [26]

March 27, 2016

Domenech went on The Jacki Daily Show to talk about “The Real History of Earth Day.” Audio below. [27]

January 26, 2016

Doug Domenech testified before the Missouri House of Representatives Energy and the Environment Committee in support of HB1470, which would create an “Interstate Power Compact.” HB1470 would work to restrict the EPA‘s Clean Air Act, also known as the Clean Power Plan, by excepting Member States from participating in the plan unless “he filing involves emission limits of what is technically achievable inside the physical boundaries of the electrical generating units, and (2) until such time as the U.S. Supreme Court has rendered an opinion that the Clean Power Plan is legally valid,” the TPPF press release reads. [28]

There are significant legal, technical, and policy deficiencies to the so-called Clean Power Plan and this legislation provides important safeguards for Missouri,” said Domenech. “Missouri will be significantly impacted by the CPP’s carbon emission rule since 83 percent of Missouri’s electricity is produced by low cost coal and the EPA is demanding the state reduce emissions by 37 percent. It is high time for states to coordinate a response to this EPA overreach and this is exactly what the Interstate Power Compact does.” [28]

July 2016

Domenech wrote a study titled “The EPA‘s Clean Power Plan Will Hurt the Poor and Middle Class the Most” (PDF). In the study, he quotes Harry Alford, president of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, who called the CPP “a slap in the face to poor and minority families” and also commissioned his own study that criticized the CPP[29]

“The elite can afford higher energy costs. But people on fixed incomes, and lower- and middle-income families (including many African Americans and Latinos/Hispanics), and businesses that provide jobs to working class people—they need energy that’s affordable. For many of them, the choice is between the CPP […] and keeping the lights on,” Domenech concludes in the report. [29]

June 8, 2016

Writing in The Daily Caller, in an article titled “Did You Burn Any Fossil Fuels Today?”  Domenech says that “the facts do not support the President [Obama]” when it comes to linking extreme weather events to climate change. Instead, Domenech cites climate change denier Lamar Smith who had said that “The lack of evidence is clear: no increased tornadoes, no increased hurricanes, no increased droughts or floods.” [30]

In conclusion, Domenech says that third-world companies should burn fossil fuels without worry: [30]

“The policies of the United States should not doom third world countries to a lifetime of poverty. Allowing everyone to unleash the potential prosperity and health generated by fossil fuels is how we transform society. Everyone deserves to have the same benefits we enjoy.” [30]

December 22, 2015

Following an interview with prominent climate change denier Myron Ebell, Douglas Domenech appeared on The Federalist radio hour to discuss the clean power plan. Domenech’s piece begins at 32:11: [31]

The administration’s big climate program is the Clean Power Plan and has been finalized by the EPA and published in the federal register about two months ago and what you saw was immediately 27 states filed suits in the courts,” Domenech said. “It’s going to boil down to the state level.” [31]

September 23, 2015

Doug Domenech went on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America radio show where he discussed Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment. [32]

According to Domenech, “The Pope is being really ill-advised by folks that are really more global leftists concerned about ending capitalism more than helping the environment.” [32]

August 10, 2015

Doug Domenech discussed the Clean Power Plan on Coffee and Markets. Audio below (Domenech starts speaking at [26:50]). [33]

Domenech discussed a piece he wrote criticizing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) on August 4 in The Federalist. He cites the conservative Heritage Foundation: [33]

“The Heritage Foundation put out a great study that talks about how expensive it’s going to be. They estimate that everybody’s bill, including the poorest people in our society, are going to end up paying 12 to 17 percent more for their electricity. Heritage estimates a loss of 2.5 trillion in GDP across the country, and more than a million job losses. When you close these plants, especially coal plants, across the country, people are going to lose their jobs.” [33]

“It really is the ultimate central planner’s sort of perspective when they say that green energy produces jobs,” he said. “When the state imposes its will into the marketplace, we no longer have a free market.” [33]

“The plan they put out really is illegal, and it far exceeds the authority of the EPA‘s ability in the Clean Air Act to even impose something like this,” Domenech adds.  [33]

August 4, 2015

Doug Domenech wrote in The Federalist a number of criticisms he had for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan: [34]

“The final rule is still illegal and will be changed in court as soon as the ink is dry later this summer,” Domenech says. “The cost of the rule is in the billions. The final rule still imposes higher energy prices on families, businesses, and the poor,” he adds. [34]

Other claims Domenech make include:

“[T]he final rule threatens the electric power grid.” [34]

“Even if you believe carbon is a pollutant, the final rule still does nothing to address climate change […]” [34]

Domenech concludes that Governors should rebel by refusing to submit state plans:

“What should states do?

“Governors should continue to oppose the rule by refusing to submit a state plan. Three courageous governors have already said publicly that they will not submit a plan.

“State legislatures should also oppose the rule by passing legislation to protect consumers, businesses, and low-income Americans, and by restricting state agencies from submitting a state plan until the courts have ruled it legal. Almost 30 states filed negative comments on the proposed rule.

“Congress should continue its efforts to restrict funding for the plan, passing legislation protecting ratepayers, and allowing governors to have the flexibility to reject the plan if it raises electricity rates.” [34]

August 3, 2015

In a TPPF press release, Domenech urged states not comply with the EPA‘s Clean Power Plan: [35]

 “This latest rule does nothing for the environment, costs billions to implement, and hurts people and businesses by increasing the cost of electricity for everyone,” said Domenech. “It is critical that states not comply with this unconstitutional rule. Economic vitality is at stake, jobs are at stake, and low income Americans will disproportionately suffer its consequences.” [35]

July 12, 2015

Doug Domenech criticized the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the Washington Examiner: [36]

“The EPA‘s so-called Clean Power Plan is an illegal takeover of the electric power production sector and amounts to a national energy tax on all Americans,” he wrote. “The administration’s goal is to force states to replace their current mix of low cost, reliable energy fuels with a higher cost mix of renewables that are largely dependent on the weather.”  [36]

He said that states should work together to oppose the clean power plan by joining an Interstate Power Compact (IPC).  [36]

“The EPA is an overreaching federal agency unbounded by public opinion or congressional oversight that acts recklessly on secret science. It is high time to withdraw the Clean Power Plan rule.” [36]

April 24, 2015

Doug Domenech issued a statement on behalf of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, commending Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for not filing a State Implementation Plan (SIP) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): [37]

Oklahoma recognizes the EPA’s Clean Power Plan edict for what it is: a power grab,” Domenech wrote. “The overreach by this federal agency is an attempt to take control over power generation in the states in such a way that would dramatically increase costs on individuals and businesses alike while harming jobs and states’ economies. I applaud Governor Fallin for taking such a strong stand against this seriously flawed and unconstitutional EPA regulation. State – all states – should count the cost of complying in terms of higher electricity rates on all families – rich and poor – and all businesses – large and small.” [37]



  • Commonwealth of VirginiaSecretary of Natural Resources (January 2010 – January 2014). [38]
  • U.S. Department of the InteriorDeputy Chief of Staff (November 2005 – January 2009);  Deputy Assistant Secretary Insular Affairs (March 2008 – January 2009);  White House Liaison (November 2001 – January 2006); Deputy Director, External and Intergovernmental Affairs (July 2001 – November 2001). [38]
  • Virginia Board of Forestry — Board member, appointed by Governor Jim Gilmore. [7]
  • Governor George Allen’s Commonwealth Competition Council — Former Member. [7]

Social Media


Washington Examiner

The Federalist

The Daily Caller

RealClear Energy


  1. DOUG DOMENECH, DIRECTOR, FUELING FREEDOM PROJECT,” Texas Public Policy Foundation. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  2. Zachary Roth. “Bush Interior Official To Run Virginia Natural Resources Department,” TPM, January 6, 2010. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  3. Media Release. “White House and Interior officials host territory governors at IGIA,” Samoa News, February 25, 2017. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  4. Robin Bravender. “Trump’s energy team overhauled,” E&E News, November 21, 2016. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  5. “Doug Domenech: Secretary of Natural Resources: Commonwealth of Virginia” (PDF), June 22, 2012. Retrieved from Loudoun County Public Schools. Archived .pdf one file at DeSmog.
  6. Domenech, Doug,” Accessed February 25, 2017. URL
  7. Domenech Named To White House Post,” Leesburg Today, January 11, 2002. Archived March 28, 2006. URL:
  8. Home,” Fueling Freedom. Archived November 13, 2016. URL
  9. What We Do…” Fueling Freedom. Archived November 13, 2016. URL
  10. Howard Kurtz. “ Blogger Quits Amid Furor,” Washington Post, March 25, 2006. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  11. Ben Domenech. “Contrition,” RedState, March 24, 2006. Archived December 3, 2013. URL
  12. Doug Domenech. “Climate change: Speaking truth to power,” The Hill, December 13, 2016. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  13. Doug Domenech. “Dissent Must Be Silenced,” RealClear Energy, May 17, 2016. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  14. Like CO2, The Paris Agreement Is Vapid,” The Federalist, December 23, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  15. Doug Domenech. “Climate issues deserve an honest debate,” Washington Examiner, November 12, 2015. Archived .pdf one file at DeSmog. URL:
  16. Doug Domenech. “Earth Day Betrayed,” National Review, April 14, 2016. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  17. Clean Power Plan not the only threat,” Tyler Morning Telegraph, February 21, 2016. Archived February 26, 2017. URL:
  18. Why Does EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Hate Texas?The Federalist, May 5, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  19. Doug Domenech. “The Climate Addiction,” Morning Consult, November 10, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  20. (Press Release). “Trump’s New Interior Department Transition Team Leader Believes Burning Fossil Fuels Is a ‘Moral’ Imperative; Has Ties to Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil,” Centre for Biological Diversity, November 21, 2016. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  21. Doug Domenech. “What’s Next for Energy and Climate Policy?RealClear Energy, November 16, 2016. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  22. House Conservatives Move to Curb EPA Overreach,” YouTube Video uploaded by user One America News Network, September 7, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  23. Listen to Doug Domenech’s Interview on the Bill Martinez Show,” Fueling Freedom. Archived February 25, 2017. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.
  24. August 26, 2016,” Bill Martinez Live. Archived February 26, 2017. URL
  25. Doug Domenech. “Your Damn Children are Killing the Planet,” RealClear Energy, August 25, 2016. URL: 
  26. TPPF STATEMENT ON REMOVAL OF ENERGY SUBSIDIES FROM FAA REAUTHORIZATION BILL,” Fueling Freedom. April 19, 2016. Archived February 26, 2017. URL
  27. RADIO: Doug Domenech on the Blaze’s Jacki Daily Show,” Fueling Freedom, March 27, 2016. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.
  28. TPPF’s Doug Domenech Testifies in Support of Interstate Power Compact,” Texas Public Policy Foundation, January 26, 2016. Archived February 26, 2017. URL
  29. “The EPA‘s Clean Power Plan Will Hurt the Poor and Middle Class the Most” (PDF), Green Watch, March 23, 2016. Retrieved from Texas Public Policy Foundation.
  30. Did You Burn Any Fossil Fuels Today?Daily Caller, June 8, 2016. Archived February 26, 2017. URL
  31. Myron Ebell Returns From Paris Climate Conference With Concerns,” The Federalist, December 22, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  32. Doug Domenech on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Radio Show,” Fueling Freedom. Archived February 26, 2017. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.
  33. Doug Domenech interviewed on Coffee and Markets,” Fueling Freedom, August 10, 2015. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.
  34. Obama Wasn’t Kidding About Wanting To Spike Your Electricity Bill,” The Federalist, August 4, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL:
  35. Kathleen Hartnett-White, Robert Henneke, and Doug Domenech. “TPPF: CLEAN POWER PLAN FINAL RULE SEIZES SWEEPING POWER OVER ELECTRICITY,” Texas Public Policy Foundation, August 3, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  36. Doug Domenech. “What’s next for the EPA‘s ‘all pain, no gain’ Clean Power Plan?Washington Examiner, July 12, 2015. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  37. TPPF Statement on Oklahoma Stand Against EPA Overreach,” Fueling Freedom. Archived February 25, 2017. URL
  38. Doug Domenech,” LinkedIn. Accessed February 25, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

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