Who better to stand for the environment than a lawyer who represented BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy? At least, that appears to be President Donald Trump’s logic. This week he nominated Jeffrey Bossert Clark, who has consistently worked against climate action, for the role of Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources at the Department of Justice.
Clark is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C. Over his career he’s challenged the scientific basis of climate policies, according to InsideClimateNews. His career is littered with work against the environment, not for it. He successfully defended BP after Louisiana parishes challenged the company over their multi-billion settlement of claims over Deepwater Horizon. But representing BP after America’s worst oil spill is just part of it.
Clark represented the United States Chamber of Commerce in lawsuits attacking the government’s power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. He’s argued in court multiple times it’s inappropriate to form government policies based on scientific consensus given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
InsideClimateNews said Clark was prominently involved in challenges from industry to the Environmental Protection Agency’s endangerment finding offering a scientific basis for efforts to regulate greenhouse gases.
Natural Resources Defense Council Director of the Climate & Clean Air Program David Doniger said of Clark, “He has a long history of opposing climate action for corporate and ideological clients. I would expect that history would require him to recuse himself from cases as over the Clean Power Plan, where he filed an amicus brief against the rule.”
In the George W. Bush administration Clark served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, from 2001 to 2005. Senate confirmation is required for him to serve in the Trump administration.