Environment

Why Mike Pompeo Could Be Even Worse for the Environment Than Rex Tillerson

Two words: Koch brothers.

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

As Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was one of the most blatant revolving-door cases in the Trump administration and a clear sign that Trump’s government was of, by and for the fossil fuel industry. But make no mistake: Mike Pompeo could be far worse.

Once again, this administration has proven that just when you think things can’t get any worse, Donald Trump and his cronies will find a way. Now, instead of having a former fossil fuel CEO at the helm of foreign policy, the United States will have an Islamophobic Koch brothers shill who built his own business using Koch money and owes his political career first and foremost to their deep pockets.

In Congress, Pompeo received more money from the Koch brothers than any other member, and more than twice the Kochs' next highest benefactor, Paul Ryan. And if that weren’t bad enough, Pompeo has expressed extremist, bigoted and Islamophobic views and has defended torture programs and supported unconstitutional surveillance by the federal government. He is one of the most dangerous Trump appointees yet and will lead U.S. foreign policy down the same dark, bigoted path of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.

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If Pompeo is confirmed, Charles and David Koch will now have a direct line to the State Department, including its already obstructionist positions at the U.N. Climate Treaty. At the next round of treaty negotiations, the U.S. delegation may as well be called the Koch delegation, as their agenda—dirty fossil fuels—will again be the centerpiece of U.S. climate policy.

Whether it’s Exxon Mobil’s golden child or the Koch brothers’ puppet at the helm of State Department, no amount of dirty coal money and bought-off politicians can stop the movements of people resisting this administration. Nor can it stop the millions of people, institutions, cities and states standing up to the fossil fuel industry. Big polluters are running scared, and this administration is their Hail Mary pass.

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Kelle Louaillier is the president of Corporate Accountability.