To the Editor:

The EPA’s recent roll-back of regulations governing the environment polluting effects of coal mining and coal-fired power plants comes as no surprise. After all, Andrew Wheeler is the EPA chief, and he is a long-time coal lobbyist. He is simply pursuing the Trump Adminitration’s policies which vigorously deny global warming and humans’ responsibility for it. Trump thus makes America exceptional by taking exception to the 197 nations and their scientists who remain in the Paris Climate Accord.

Among all of Trump’s Cabinet heads, only one takes climate change seriously. He is Jim Bridenstine at NASA, who began as a denier but then changed his views. Asked why he changed, he replied, “I asked a lot of questions and read a lot.” Reading above all is frowned upon by the Administration and its legions of fossil fuel industry contributors, and the relationship is quite simple: money and profits. Go down the list and check the millions of campaign dollars these industries have spent in order to enjoy freedom from regulation or accountability. They are all climate change deniers because they make mountains of money at it, the mountains of the planet be damned.

Secretary of State Pompeo (a long time Tea Party figure supported by the Koch brothers), Fox and Friends, Trump’s nominee for UN Ambassador, Kelly Craft, they all fit the same denier mold, and she could predictably veto the UN’s concerted efforts to mitigate global warming. She has an understandable stake in doing so. She has 3 million dollars invested in fossil fuel industries. Her husband, Joe, is an executive at Aliance Resource Partners, the third largest eastern coal mining company and like his wife is a big time donor to the GOP. Joe was heard to quip about his iphone, “powered by coal.” If he visited the Coal Mining Museum in West Virginia, he would doubtless be less than amused to notice its electricity comes from the solar panels on the roof.

It is natural for the fossil fuel advocates to work hard to disguise their fundamental greed or their anxieties about competition from alternate energy sources as a problem with global warming science. And lest Trump supporters become at all anxious, Trump has formed a special commission of deniers to interpret the scientific data on climate change, lead by an openly biased denier, a scientist but with no background in climate research. So his strategy follows the methods of, say, Exxon Mobil which ran a public relations campaign contradicting the findings of its own scientists, unbeknown to those scientists, and currently entangled in a transparency suit by its own investors for suppressing the truth about its products. Trump already knows what his commission’s goal is: disprove climate change science, despite its truths being overwhelmingly documented for the last 6 years. He thus needs to gin up his own “presidential” false media campaign, for two reasons: keep his supporters addicted to fossil fuels and keep them in denial they are addicted.

He truly believes he can play us all for fools, something he admittedly has had some success with, just as Purdue Pharma did with OxyContin and Monsanto did with Roundup.

Dick Taylor


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