Energy & Environment

Former GOP EPA chiefs endorse Clinton

Two former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chiefs who served under Republican presidents are backing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the November election.

William Ruckelshaus, who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and William Reilly, of the George H.W. Bush administration, said Republicans should be outraged by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s threats to undo major environmental policies.

{mosads}“Donald Trump has shown a profound ignorance of science and of the public health issues embodied in our environmental laws,” the men wrote in a letter released Tuesday morning by the Clinton campaign.

“He hasn’t a clue about Republicans’ historic contributions to science-driven environmental policy: the incontestable environmental improvements in the restored lakes and rivers, the acid rain controls, the reduction of key air pollutants by 70, 80 and 90 percent, and the sharp decline in pollution from automobiles even as their numbers more than doubled.”

Ruckelshaus and Reilly add to the growing list of Republican officials, including former federal officials under GOP presidents, who have denounced Trump and endorsed Clinton.

In the last two days, Clinton’s secured endorsements from former George W. Bush aide Lezlee Westine, Reagan political director Frank Lavin and ex-Michigan Gov. William Milliken.

Similarly to many of their fellow Republicans, Ruckelshaus and Reilly framed a Trump administration as dangerous to the causes for which they feel strongly.

They said Trump’s position that climate change is a hoax “flies in the face of overwhelming international science and the public conviction and commitment of almost 200 national governments that adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change in December 2015. Our leadership was essential to that agreement. To back away now, as Trump wants to do, would set the world back decades — years we could never recover.”

Clinton, they said, recognizes environmental protection and the threat at hand.

“She is committed to reasonable, science-based policy to meet those challenges,” the men wrote.

Their endorsement came a day after Trump gave an economic policy speech in which he doubled down on his previous pledges to boost fossil fuels, undo President Obama’s entire climate change agenda and put a moratorium on new environmental regulations.

“By 2030 … the Obama-Clinton energy restrictions will eliminate another half a million manufacturing jobs, reduce economic output by $2.5 trillion and reduce incomes by $7,000 per person,” Trump said. “A Trump administration would end this war on the American worker and unleash an energy revolution that will bring vast new wealth to our country.”

Ruckelshaus and Reilly have been outspoken defenders of Obama’s climate policies. They’ve joined two other former Republican EPA heads in backing the Clean Power Plan and filed a court brief to that effect.

Christine Todd Whitman, an EPA head under President George W. Bush, is a solid Never Trump advocate and, in a Mother Jones interview, cited his energy proposals as a crucial reason for her stance.

Mike Levitt, another EPA head who served under Bush, is advising Trump’s campaign on the business mogul’s potential transition to the presidency, according to the The Washington Post.

Tags 2016 presidential election Climate change Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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