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Senate Approves Trump Climate Skeptic to Run Environmental Enforcement at Justice Dept.

Politics
Senate Approves Trump Climate Skeptic to Run Environmental Enforcement at Justice Dept.
Bloomberg Creative Photos / Getty Images

A climate change skeptic who once labeled President Obama's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a communist plot is now the nation's top environmental enforcement official.


Thursday the Senate narrowly confirmed Jeffery Bossert Clark, a lawyer who defended BP after the Deepwater oil spill, to be assistant attorney general heading the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The office handles all environmental litigation, including bringing both civil and criminal cases against corporations and people who violate pollution control laws. It is responsible for enforcing the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act and other major federal environmental laws.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, Clark repeatedly dodged questions about his views on climate change.

In a 2010 talk at the National Lawyers Convention, he said the Obama administration's policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were "reminiscent of kind of a Leninistic program from the 1920s to seize control of the commanding heights of the economy."

In the same speech, Clark blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the agency's "overly ambitious agenda needs to be checked by judicial review."

"Jeffrey Bosson Clark's blatant hostility toward environmental protection is good news for polluters, but awful news for the rest of us," said EWG President Ken Cook. "The guy who defended the company that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history is not likely to aggressively go after corporate environmental outlaws."

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