A former head of President-Elect #Donald Trump’s transition team said the incoming administration will likely ignore the Paris Climate Agreement, calling it a "dead letter." Mike McKenna, who previously led Trump’s energy transition team, said in an interview the new administration will probably disregard the Paris accord and allow new drilling in the Arctic. And he said the three contentious pipelines being held up by activists will finally get completed.
McKenna has since left the transition team and returned to his former job as a lobbyist. While the Paris accord has a goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, it does not require that countries comply. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted the word ‘treaty’ not be used anywhere, which would then necessitate senate approval. Currently, former Gov. Rick Perry, a vocal critic of the DOE, is slated to be confirmed as its next Energy Secretary.
Most serious threat
Despite assurances from Trump’s cabinet picks that the U.S. should have a seat at the table when tackling #Climate Change, none consider global warming to be the country’s most immediate threat. Indeed, even current CIA Chief John Brennan said yesterday during a Fox News Sunday interview the top threats facing the country were from ISIS, cyber-warfare, and Russia. He didn't mention climate change.
McKenna said Trump would give the green light to the Dakota Access Pipeline’s completion, the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the Alberta Clipper. Under current U.S. law, “they can be approved by a president more or less immediately, and I think that's what's going to happen.” As for the Arctic, which Obama recently banned from new drilling and future exploration, the administration would reverse those executive actions.
Fate of CPP
McKenna also said the Clean Power Plan (CPP), Obama’s expansive program to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, will very likely be dead on arrival. The plan was created by the EPA to bypass a Republican-controlled congress. The CPP is blamed for having decimated the country’s coal communities. As it was being implemented, the Supreme Court stepped in and issued an unprecedented stay.
Because it’s far too expensive to build new coal plants under the new regulations, companies are building natural gas-fired plants and passing the increased costs onto consumers. Scott Pruitt, nominated to head the EPA, is one of 28 attorneys general suing the EPA for governmental overreach. Pruitt has never said he denies global warming but has questioned the #Science behind it. McKenna noted the President-elect has been remarkably consistent and direct about killing the Clean Power Plan.
Noted skeptic visits Trump Tower
On Friday, the Trump transition team met with eminent physicist and global warming skeptic William Happer, who some are speculating may by the next Science Czar. Happer is a vocal critic of the EPA’s demonization of CO2 and says the Earth is currently CO2-deprived and classifying it a pollutant is Orwellian. He says the media’s fearmongering over rising seas and extreme weather events is nonsense. Happer told Congress in 2015 that “climate science was far from settled.”
The interview with McKenna is scheduled to run on British TV Jan. 16, 2017.