Arkansas official supports climate change critic for top environmental job | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Arkansas official supports climate change critic for top environmental job

Posted By on Thu, Jul 13, 2017 at 11:14 AM

LEE RUDOFSKY: He really likes the oil company climate denier nominated for the Justice Department's top environmental job.
  • LEE RUDOFSKY: He really likes the oil company climate denier nominated for the Justice Department's top environmental job.
Is it news that Donald Trump wants a climate change skeptic in a top U.S. environmental job?

Is it news that the top aide to Attorney General Leslie Rutledge thinks this is a swell idea?

If news means something surprising and unexpected, no.

Nonetheless. for the record, some backgroundas reported earlier in Slate:

Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a lawyer who has repeatedly challenged the scientific foundations of U.S. climate policy and was part of a legal team that represented BP in lawsuits stemming from the nation’s worst oil spill, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, was nominated by President Donald Trump on Tuesday [in June] to serve as the Justice Department’s top environmental lawyer.
The Arkansas angle? Lee Rudofsky, the "solicitor general," or top litigator on the staff of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, a dedicated foe of rules to protect air and water and public health, has written the Senate in support of Clark's confirmation. Here's the letter he signed with Dominic Draye, another friend of polluters as solicitor general of Arizona.

The Senate record isn't exactly stuffed with praise of the idea of making an oil company attorney and climate change skeptic the enforcer of environmental law. Just some colleagues at his law firm, a handful of former government attorneys (mostly Bush era) and Rudofsky and Draye. The last two said in part:

Too often, federal regulators pay too little attention to our nation’s broad diversity of geography, ecology, and industry. When  regulators stretch the statutes Congress enacted or fail to account for regional variation, it becomes our responsibility to bring challenges in court. In recent years, we have submitted comments and later led litigation over the Clean Power Plan, the 2015 national ambient air quality standard for ozone, and EPA’s novel interpretation of “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act. In each of these cases, we have encountered federal lawyers who are professional and courteous, but whose work reflects an institutional blind spot for the States.

We are convinced that Mr. Clark will return the Department to an appreciation of the States as co-regulators and co-equal sovereigns.

In other words, some states (and particularly the businesses that operate them) think commercial interests outweigh those of cleaner air and water and our top litigator thinks the Justice Department nominee is a kindred spirit.

Clark dodged questions about his personal views in a Senate committee hearing June 28.

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