Which of the presidential candidates is most biased against the environment?
By Peter HapakFor a candidate who campaigned on the idea of protecting the environment, it was an odd choice.
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for energy secretary, former Texas Gov.
Rick Perry, has called climate change a hoax and the Paris climate agreement a “political hoax.”
And while Trump’s transition team has not yet named a nominee for secretary of the Interior, a senior official at the Interior Department has told Bloomberg News that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is a climate denier and climate-change denier.
The president-elect also nominated Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as a candidate for Interior secretary.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Zinke defended his record of supporting drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, saying, “The National Wildlife Refuges are one of the world’s most important places to do scientific research.
And we need to do that, so that we don’t lose our wildlife to the whims of greedy oil companies.”
He also called for federal action to curb the use of oil in coal-fired power plants, saying that coal power has “more environmental benefits than wind and solar.”
While he has pledged to protect the Arctic Refuge and the National Park Service, Zinkes picks have a history of being tied to climate change.
In fact, Zinks past nominee for the Interior’s top job, Rep. Don Young, has been a climate-denier, and his former Senate colleague from Alaska, Sen. Mike Lee, is also a climate change denier.
“It’s very important for the American people to understand what our country is up against, and what the President-elect is proposing to do,” Young told Bloomberg.
Zinke also has been criticized for saying he does not believe in global warming and has said that climate change is a hoax, according to Bloomberg News.
But he has said, “I am committed to protecting our planet and I will not let the planet be destroyed in the process.”
Zinkes picks are also opposed by a number of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Earthjustice.
The group Climate Progress, which has been active in opposing Zinke picks, has also called his picks “a troubling reminder that our national politics are not focused on the safety and security of our nation’s most vulnerable people and communities, but rather on oil and natural gas and corporate profits.”
“We are concerned about Zinke’s nomination and are looking forward to reviewing the nomination,” Climate Progress said in a statement to Bloomberg.
Follow Laura Ingraham at twitter.com/LauraIngraham.