Who’s Advising Donald Trump on Climate and Energy?

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By Renee Schoof

Sept. 20 — A handful of people among the list of mostly bankers and investors advising Donald Trump on the economy have taken positions on climate change and U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.

A look at the 23-member economic team gives some insights into who has the Republican presidential nominee’s ear on matters of energy and the environment.

Trump has called for ramping up oil, gas and coal production and has promised a reduction of mostly environment-related regulations. He opposes the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate agenda, the Clean Power Plan, and would seek to pull the U.S. out of the international Paris climate agreement. His positions on these matters are in line with most congressional Republicans and many Republican voters.

The advisers who have made their views public on these matters generally agree. Here’s a look at a few of them:

Anthony Scaramucci

The founder of SkyBridge Capital, Scaramucci stands out on Trump’s team of 23 economic advisers for saying that human-caused climate change is real (a view shared by 49 percent of liberal and moderate Republicans and 26 percent of conservative Republicans, according to a poll in April by researchers at Yale University and George Mason University).

“You can take steps to combat climate change without crippling the economy,” Scaramucci said in a tweet in March. “The fact many people still believe CC is a hoax is disheartening.”

In April, in another tweet, he cited a Bloomberg News article about the Yale-George Mason poll and commented: “Encouraging to see more of my fellow Republicans believing in basic science.”

Stephen Moore

A writer and founder of the Club for Growth, a group dedicated to conservative economic principles and limited government, Moore has dismissed climate change.

In Aug. 30 Heritage commentary, he and Tim Doescher wrote, in a view not shared by the vast majority of climate scientists, that “there is no consensus among leading scientists about whether global warming is happening, why it is happening, or what its effect might be (positive or negative) on the planet.”

Moore opposes tax credits for the solar industry and favors fracking: “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again ... To oppose fracking is like being against a cure for cancer,” he tweeted in August.

His book “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy,” written with fellow Trump adviser Kathleen Hartnett White, hails fossil fuels as the solution to the world’s energy needs. “Anyone who thinks that we can get the power we need for our modern society from ‘clean, renewable’ sources like wind and solar power is living in a world of make-believe,” the authors write.

Kathleen Hartnett White

Director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a former chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R).

In a June 17 commentary in The Hill with the headline “Restrain the imperial EPA,” she called for support for a bill introduced by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), H.R. 3880, that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. White wrote that the “EPA’s expanding climate crusade is bereft of legally meaningful justification.”

“Our president and his functionaries across the federal government, however, persist in trumpeting the view of more radical climate alarmists who declare that man-made global warming of apocalyptic proportion” is upon us right now, she wrote.

Dan DiMicco

Retired executive chairman of the Nucor Corp., the nation’s largest steel producer and a former member of the Manufacturing Council, an group that advises the Commerce Department.

DesmogBlog, citing leaked documents, reported in 2012 that Nucor contributed $502,000 to the Heartland Institute in 2010 and 2011, when DiMicco was heading the corporation. Heartland is a policy research group that doubts the scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of current climate change.

In December, responding to a Wall Street Journal story about the Paris Agreement on climate change, DiMicco tweeted that the world had serious air and water pollution problems in places like India and China, but carbon dioxide wasn’t one of them, adding in the tweet: “This just Gov’t. $$$$ grab.”

Andy Beal

Billionaire investor, founder of the private Beal Bank.

Beal is a self-declared libertarian who opposes big government and donates to politicians who want to dismantle it.

With assistance from Rachel Leven.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Schoof in Washington at rSchoof@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

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