Daniel Simmons, an opponent of renewable energy and international climate agreement, has been appointed by President Donald Trump to lead the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Simmons, who previously worked as vice president for policy at the right wing, free-market energy think tank Institute for Energy Research, has previously advocated the use of fossil fuels, opposed the international climate agreement and questioned the value of promoting renewable energy sources and curbs on greenhouse gas emissions.
He was also against pro-renewable policies, like subsidies and tax breaks for the use of wind and solar power.
“I think that everything should be treated equally across the board,” he said at an event last year. “We have to look at the track record of the oil and gas industry, producing low-cost, reliable energy, particularly when the alternative is much, much higher prices.”
Ironically, in Trump’s America, a guy who was a renewable energy policy critic will now lead the office that deals with it.
Simmons’ position has not been announced officially just yet, but according to E&E News, an outlet focusing on energy and the environment, the critic will serve as the acting assistant secretary of the office until the Senate confirms someone to the post. His designation will be acting assistant administrator.
Under former President Barack Obama, EERE worked on research development, promotion and other efforts that reduced renewable energy costs and efficiency technology costs.
There was a rise in solar power department in Obama’s era. However, the current commander-in-chief has proposed to cut EERE’s funding by 53 percent.
Tragically, this isn’t the first time the business mogul has nominated an official to run an agency whose mission they blatantly oppose.
Trump’s pick for the secretary of Energy Department, Rick Perry, proposed eliminating the same department during his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
The president also picked climate change denier Scott Pruitt as the head of Environmental Protection Agency. He too, like Simmons, was a close ally of the fossil fuel industry and denounced climate change as a hoax.
Trump’s education secretary, Betsy Devos, had no experience in public education. She once said the presence of grizzly bears justifies the presence of guns in schools.
Simmons is the latest edition to this list of people heading departments or agencies in Trump’s era — opposing the mission of the very core of those agencies.
Is this how the new administration plans to make America great again?