SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 13, 2016 — The following is a statement from Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Climate & Energy Abigail Dillen in response to President-elect Trump’s reported nomination of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy:
Today the Trump team gave the oil and gas industry a trifecta at the expense of the vast majority of Americans who understand the urgency of acting on climate change and transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean energy. These nominations would give the wealthiest oil executives in the country unprecedented power over our daily lives — from the air we breathe to the water we drink.
President-elect Trump has nominated an oil company CEO who has bankrolled climate-denying science to be Secretary of State. He has nominated a climate-denying state Attorney General who has used his power to do the bidding of the oil and gas industry to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The nomination of Texas Gov. Rick Perry – yet another out-of-touch climate denier – to head the Department of Energy (DOE), an agency he vowed to eliminate, completes the dangerous trio of climate denial and obstruction. This may be the most stunning expression of how money in politics work. The richest corporations win and everybody else loses.
We look to the Department of Energy for crucial scientific and technological innovations in the energy field. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is an area where the DOE is moving us forward with renewable energy and energy efficiency breakthroughs. The leader of the DOE should value and take pride in these pioneering advancements. Gov. Perry seems not to care less. During his presidential run in 2012, he told voters he would eliminate the very cabinet position he has now been asked to fill.
Like his fellow cabinet appointees Rex Tillerson and Scott Pruitt, Gov. Perry has been a champion of fossil fuel interests. He has refused to implement the Clean Power Plan, he sits on the board of the company seeking to build the Dakota Access pipeline, and during his 2016 presidential run said he would approve the Keystone pipeline on “day one.”
But in the face of the incoming Trump administration’s hostility toward climate leadership, the majority of Americans who favor forward-thinking climate and energy policies should take heart: much of our nation’s energy policy is made at the state level. We can and we are making progress from climate-polluting fossil fuels to clean renewable energy in the states. It is hard work and we are up against a most urgent deadline. But the vast majority of Americans support clean energy solutions. And Earthjustice is working with a broad range of allies to advance these solutions. We’ll continue to do so with or without assistance from the Trump administration.”
Earthjustice, the nation’s premier nonprofit environmental law organization, wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. Because the earth needs a good lawyer. www.earthjustice.org