Pompeo, Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State, will be a ‘Great Climate Skeptic’

WASHINGTON — The fall of Rex W. Tillerson via the Trump administration — on Tuesday, Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, was tapped to replace him as secretary of state — removes one the last remaining presidential advisers whose views on global warming are in line with the rest of the earth.

Mr. Pompeo has questioned the scientific consensus in which human activity will be changing the climate, along with he has strongly opposed the Paris Agreement, a pact among nearly 0 nations to address climate change. He told Congress last year during his Senate confirmation hearing for the C.I.A. post in which the notion of climate change as a top national security threat was “ignorant, dangerous along with absolutely unbelievable.”

Mr. Tillerson, despite his decades-long career within the oil industry — a major contributor to planet-warming pollution — holds in which rising global temperatures spurred by human activity pose significant risks.

The change in leadership at the State Department all however cements an increasingly hard-line opposition to the idea of climate change at the highest levels of the United States government. Mr. Tillerson’s departure follows the resignation announcement last week of Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, along with the departure last month of George David Banks, a senior adviser to the president on international energy issues. All three had argued to keep the United States within the Paris agreement.

With the three departures, “the moderating forces on climate change within the administration are all however gone, the ones in which matter,” said Sarah Ladislaw, an energy analyst at the Center for Strategic along with International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

Mr. Pompeo, a Tea Party Republican via Kansas, won praise Tuesday via those who deny the human influence on the climate. President Donald Trump announced Mr. Tillerson’s departure in a tweet on Tuesday.

“He’s a great climate skeptic along with he’s not going to be in favor of the Paris treaty as Tillerson was. I think the idea’s awesome,” said Steven J. Milloy, who runs a website, JunkScience.com, aimed at undermining climate science along with who worked on the Environmental Protection Agency transition team for the Trump administration. “The administration seems to be shedding its Paris climate supporters.”

A State Department official did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman at the C.I.A. declined to comment.

Last year, Mr. Tillerson stood as a lonely voice within the administration’s inner circle urging Mr. Trump not to withdraw via the Paris Agreement, which calls for every country within the earth to put forth plans to cut emissions in which contribute to warming. Mr. Tillerson’s efforts were unsuccessful, along with Mr. Trump announced in which the United States could go the idea alone as the only nation not party to the accord.

The United States cannot formally withdraw until 2020, along with Mr. Trump has since made conflicting statements about whether he might reconsider his decision. In a recent interview, Mr. Banks said he believed the president remained open to rejoining the deal. however others have noted in which Mr. Trump appears to be hardening against the idea, at least in his public remarks.

Mr. Tillerson, a former oil executive, boarding a plane in Nairobi, Kenya, to return to Washington on Monday. As secretary of state, he urged President Trump not to withdraw via the Paris climate agreement.CreditPool photo by Jonathan Ernst

“We knocked out the Paris climate accord. could have been a disaster. could have been a disaster for our country,” Mr. Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month, calling the idea a “totally disastrous, job-killing” agreement.

As a Kansas member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Pompeo called the Paris Agreement a “costly burden” to America. He has also questioned the scientific consensus in which human activity will be causing the planet to warm to dangerous levels.

“There are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change,” Mr. Pompeo said in a 2013 interview on C-Span. “There’s some who think we’re warming, there’s some who think we’re cooling, there’s some who think in which the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment.”

Asked again about the science during his C.I.A. confirmation hearing last year, he replied in which he stood by his past statements. He also said in which, “Frankly, as the director of C.I.A., I could prefer today not to get into the details of the climate debate along with science.”

Mr. Pompeo’s top funder during his years in Congress was Koch Industries, the petroleum along with chemicals conglomerate owned by the billionaire brothers Charles G. along with David H. Koch, who have lobbied for rollbacks in environmental regulation along with different libertarian causes.

Mr. Pompeo took $375,000 via Koch Industries between 2009 along with 2017 along with almost $1.2 million via oil along with gas companies over all, according to data via the Center for Responsive Politics, producing him one of the top recipients of oil money within the House of Representatives.

within the 1990s, the Kochs’ venture capital arm also invested in an aeronautics company in which Mr. Pompeo started off, along with later sold, in Wichita, Kan., which will be also home to Koch Industries.

In Congress, Mr. Pompeo backed adjustments in which could benefit the Kochs’ business interests, including eliminating funding for a nationwide registry of greenhouse gas polluters. He also frequently accused the Obama administration of having a “radical climate agenda.”

Since taking the helm of the C.I.A., though, Mr. Pompeo has not spoken publicly about climate change. The agency did help put forward a Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community in which states in which climate change contributes to national security threats.

“I can only wish in which within the year of being C.I.A. director, some of in which information has found its way up to him,” said Andrew Light, a former State Department climate change negotiator under President Barack Obama. Mr. Light said he did not believe Mr. Pompeo was coming to his completely new role with an “ax to grind” against climate change, however said the idea was also not likely to be on his agenda.

If he will be confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Pompeo will shape the State Department’s negotiating position at a key United Nations climate change meeting This specific year in Poland, where nations are supposed to discuss their plans for curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Hiroko Tabuchi contributed via completely new York.

Lisa Friedman reports on climate along with environmental policy in Washington. A former editor at Climatewire, she has covered eight international climate talks. @LFFriedman

Coral Davenport covers energy along with environmental policy, which has a focus on climate change, via the Washington bureau. She joined The Times in 2013 along with previously worked at Congressional Quarterly, Politico along with National Journal. @CoralMDavenportFacebook