President Trump is set to nominate Sam Clovis, a former economics professor and conservative talk show radio host, to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top scientific position, according to reports.
Clovis, an early advisor to the Trump campaign, has a master’s in business administration and a doctoral degree in public administration, and appears to have no published scientific or academic work to his name.
In a 2014 interview, Clovis called evidence of climate change “junk science,” claiming that he has “enough of a science background to know when I’m being boofed.”
“If the president goes forward with this nomination, it’ll be yet another example of blatant dismissal of the value of scientific expertise among his administration appointees,” Ricardo Salvador, director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement.
Sounds like he’s a boof. So, are they buying these positions?
7 Alarming Conflicts of Interest Tainting Trump’s Environmental Picks
By Keith Gaby
Back when Donald Trump was a real estate developer whose projects involved thousands of construction workers, he repeatedly downplayed well-documented dangers of asbestos, writing in one of his books that the carcinogen was “100-percent safe, when applied.”
It helps explain President Trump’s pattern, amid ever-swirling ethical scandals, of selecting people with conflicts of interest for key environmental positions. These are appointments that will undermine the health of American families.
His latest consideration, according to The New York Times, is replacing experts on a federal science advisory board “with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate,” again raising the issue of his administration’s serious conflicts of interest when it comes to enforcing clean air and water laws.
Even if some of Trump’s appointees are undoubtedly nice people, it matters a great deal who is running federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and what drives their interests and motivations.