United States President Donald Trump appointed Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a lawyer who has previously represented British Petroleum (BP), to a top environmental and natural resource law position in the Department of Justice, the White House announced earlier this week.
As a partner at lawfirm Kirkland & Ellis, Clark defended BP in the legal aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. The offshore oil rig explosion resulted in the deaths of 11 workers, and was one of the worst environmental disasters of all time.
Clark has been known to challenge the science of climate change policy, having previously written a blog post criticizing an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling that declared greenhouse gas emissions a danger to the health and welfare of the public.
He attacked the EPA's ruling for being “inextricably rooted in science performed by UN (United Nations)-designated scientists and reports written by UN bureacrats,” claiming that the ruling and use of UN research represented “erosions of U.S. sovereignty.”
“The EPA administrator reports to the president,” Clark wrote. “And the president's involvement in decisionmaking is what gives decisions made by executive branch officials legitimacy, for only the president is elected by the American people. The United States is not a technocracy, let alone a UN-ocracy. It is a republic – but only for as long as we can keep it.”
He previously has served in the Department of Justice under the administration of former President George Bush, between 2001 and 2005.
The White House says that the lawyer who has a long career of defending corporate interests against environmental protections “is a complex trial and appellate litigator with especially deep experience in administrative law, cutting across dozens of statutes and numerous agencies.”
The same White House statement also appointed Ryan McCarthy, who has worked for weapons contractor Lockheed Martin as the Vice President of the Sustainment Program for the F-35 program, to be Under Secretary of the Army. The position is the second-highest ranking civilian offical in the U.S. Department of the Army.