The head of the EPA under President Barack Obama vehemently denied politicians and environmentalists waged a “war on coal.”
There’s just one problem. She was sitting in front of a “coal sucks” poster in the office of California’s top state senator.
Former EPA chief Gina McCarthy huddled with Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento Thursday to advise them on how the state could move forward with policies aimed at fighting global warming while the Trump administration dismantled Obama’s environmental agenda.
McCarthy took over EPA in Obama’s second term and oversaw the implementation of the president’s “Climate Action Plan,” which included sweeping regulations on power plants and natural gas wells. Republicans and coal supporters say these regulations were part of the administration’s “war on coal.”
“I’m concerned about this administration and their commitment,” McCarthy told reporters, according to E&E News, blasting skeptics of global warming as following a “politically induced religion.”
Trump pledged to repeal Obama’s global warming plans, and laid out an “America First Energy Plan” to boost U.S. energy production. Trump has already issued executive orders to repeal old regulations and move forward with building the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
More executive orders are on the way, and environmentalists are looking to states to implement climate policies. California has positioned itself as a bulwark against Trump’s policies.
“Right now, if we’re not going to get leadership at the federal level, it’s important that states like California continue to stand up and that they speak for people and their right to have clean air and a stable climate.”
Apart from seeking advice from McCarthy, California has retained former Attorney General Eric Holder to aide the state in legal battles against the Trump administration.
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