The environmental movement is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world”, according to an adviser to the US president Donald Trump’s administration.
Myron Ebell, who has denied the dangers of climate change for many years and led Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until the president’s recent inauguration, also said he fully expected Trump to keep his promise to withdraw the US from the global agreement to fight global warming.
Ebell said US voters had rejected what he dubbed the “expertariat” and said there was no doubt that Trump thinks that climate change is not a crisis and does not require urgent action.
Trump has already replaced the climate change page on the White House website with a fossil-fuel-based energy policy, resurrected two controversial oil pipelines and attempted to gag the EPA, the Agriculture Department and the National Parks Service.
Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax” and “bullshit”, has packed his administration with climate-change deniers but appeared to soften his stance after his election win, saying there is “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change. However, he also claimed action to cut carbon emissions was making US companies uncompetitive.
Ebell, who has returned to his role at the anti-regulation thinktank the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said on Monday: “The environmental movement is, in my view, the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.”
The CEI does not disclose its funders but has in the past received money from the oil giant ExxonMobil. “Our special interest is, I would say, freedom,” Ebell said.
During the US presidential campaign, Trump pledged to withdraw from the climate change deal agreed by 196 nations in Paris in 2015, making the US the only country considering doing so. “I expect President Trump to be very assiduous in keeping his promises,” Ebell said.