Trump administration officials held a high-level meeting last week “to chart a more cohesive energy and environmental policy strategy, including a game plan for communicating its position on climate change,” Politico reported Thursday.
“The goal of the meeting was to develop a forward-looking strategy that goes beyond early efforts by the administration to overturn former President Barack Obama’s regulations,” the inside-the-Beltway daily notes. In their efforts to frame Donald Trump’s energy and environmental objectives, “several officials at the meeting proposed highlighting the potential for new energy technology innovation and job creation, according to the people familiar with the meeting.”
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The news report casts the focus on “big picture climate strategy” as part of Chief of Staff John Kelly’s latest effort to formalize West Wing policy-making, relying on deputy-level officials from White House policy councils—more than a dozen of whom were reportedly in the room last Wednesday, along with staff from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
“Trump and his team have often struggled to put forward a unified environmental vision,” Politico states. “The administration has also not yet honed a clear stance on climate change science.” While White House national security adviser Tom Bossert acknowledged earlier this month that sea level rise and other climate impacts “would require prudent mitigation measures,” Trump later responded that “we’ve had bigger storms than this” when asked whether Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had changed his oft-cited view that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China.