Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has called global warming a hoax and lost a legal battle to prevent an offshore wind farm from being built in Scotland because he claimed it would ruin the view of his golf course. So it should come as no surprise that the real estate developer tapped a fellow climate denier and fossil fuels advocate as his new energy adviser. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is a self-described climate change skeptic who said he would advise Trump to repeal President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and instead implement a carbon tax. However, in an interview with ClimateWire, Cramer said the carbon revenue would not go toward financing clean energy programs, but would “help fund clean fossil fuel research and development.”
Cramer, who has endorsed Trump, said he is working on two white papers on energy policy for the presidential contender. Cramer’s home state of North Dakota is the center of America’s shale gas fracking boom and his biggest campaign contributors are from the oil and gas industry — he has received $113,500 this election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website. Cramer’s biggest contributor is petroleum company Tesoro ($11,000), whose Anacortes oil refinery in Washington state was recently fined $720,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency for alleged safety violations following a 2010 explosion that killed seven workers.
As a candidate in 2012, Cramer said in a radio interview that global warming is “fraudulent science” to promote wind farms, remarking that “the idea that CO2 is somehow causing global warming is on its face fraudulent.” He currently serves on the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.
Trump’s likely opponent in the general election race, Democrat Hillary Clinton, criticized the choice of Cramer. Campaign spokesman Jesse Ferguson said that Trump’s appointment of an “outspoken climate denier” as energy adviser “is just the latest piece of evidence that letting him get near the White House would put our children’s health and futures at risk.”
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