A new AP-NORC poll finds that less than a third of Americans support President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, with just 18% of respondents agreeing with his claim that pulling out of the international agreement to reduce carbon emissions will help the U.S. economy.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry told CNBC that he does not believe CO2 emissions from human activity are a main driver of climate change, comments at odds with top government scientists.
Perry added that being a skeptic about climate change issues is “quite all right” and suggests a sign of a “wise, intellectually engaged person.”
“The White House plan to trim the national debt includes selling off half of the nation’s emergency oil stockpile, part of a broad series of changes proposed by President Trump to the federal government’s role in energy markets,” Bloomberg reports.
“The proposal also seeks to boost government revenues by allowing oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, ending the practice of sharing oil royalties with states along the Gulf of Mexico and selling off electricity transmission lines in the West. Like much of the budget, those moves are likely to face opposition in Congress.”
A supervisor at the Energy Department’s international climate office told staff this week not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos, briefings or other written communication, sources have told Politico.
Reuters: “The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that the administration had instructed EPA’s communications team to remove the website’s climate change page, which contains links to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data on emissions.”
“When President-elect Donald Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state,” the New York Times reports.
“In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.”
New York Times: “A central mission of the nation’s weapons laboratories is to ensure that the country’s nuclear weapons still work if needed. To do that, the government has long relied on a program that avoids the need for underground testing, instead using data from supercomputers and laboratory experiments and inspecting the warheads.”
“But some nuclear analysts say that the Trump administration is likely to face decisions that could upend the bomb program, leading to a resumption of testing and perhaps a new global arms race if they are mishandled. Adding to the concern is Mr. Trump’s choice of a politician with no expertise in nuclear or technical matters, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, to lead the Energy Department, which runs the nation’s nuclear-weapons labs and the safeguards program.”
“A pair of top North Dakota Democrats said over the weekend that it’s unlikely Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) would accept the position of Agriculture secretary if President-elect Donald Trump offers it to her,” KTIC reports.
Donald Trump has narrowed his search for energy secretary to four people, with Rick Perry the leading candidate, Bloomberg reports.
“Two Democratic senators from energy-producing states — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — are also in the mix, along with Ray Washburne, a Dallas investor and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.”
Other reports suggest Heitkamp will be agriculture secretary instead.
For members: Here’s Trump’s Cabinet So Far
Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are trying to identify staff in the Energy Department who played a role in promoting President Obama’s climate agenda, Bloomberg reports.
“The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules.”
“Former Vice President Al Gore, a leading voice in the fight against climate change, and Donald Trump, who at one point called it a hoax, met on Monday in what Gore called a ‘productive’ session,” Reuters reports.
Gore “spent about 90 minutes in meetings at the president-elect’s Trump Tower apartment and office building in Manhattan. In addition to seeing Trump, he also met briefly with the Republican’s daughter, Ivanka, who attended a series of high-level meetings since her father won the Nov. 8 election.”
President-elect Donald Trump “supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman’s investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline,” according to an aide’s memo obtained by the Associated Press.
Spokesman Bryan Lanza said in a memo this week to supporters that Trump’s backing for the pipeline “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is considering Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) for the energy secretary job, Politico reports.
The conservative Democrat “is being considered to show the coal people how serious Trump is about coal.”
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was being discussed as a potential Energy Secretary in the Trump administration, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The department is the one Perry famously forgot during a Republican primary debate in 2012.