Finalists to be Trump’s Veep Pick

Not surprisingly, none of them augurs well for the environment, but some are worse than others.

According to NBC News, Trump’s search for a Vice Presidential candidate is focusing on three Senators (J.D. Vance, Marco Rubio & Tim Scott) and one governor (Doug Burgham).  Trump has never been one to stick religiously to a set process, and he likes to surprise. So there’s a fair chance the choice will be someone else. The odds for the candidates on this list are high enough, however, to make their environmental views worth a serious look.  I’ll discuss them in alphabetical order.

Doug Burgham.  Burgham is the governor of North Dakota and not exactly a household name. Part of his appeal to Trump seems to be his deep support for fossil fuels, an economic mainstay of the state these days.  But Burgham, unlike Trump, isn’t a climate denier and has announced a target for the state to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Marco Rubio.  Rubio’s lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters is 7%. He has called climate change a “real problem” but opposes emission cuts and favors a focus on adaptation.  Rubio’s biggest appeals to Trump are probably his possible ability to appeal to Hispanic voters and his proven willingness to “take the knee” (to use a phrase of Trump’s).

Tim Scott. Scott’s lifetime LCV score is virtually the same as Rubio’s, at 6%. Scott could help peel away black voters, given the softness of Biden’s support among young black men.  Scott has acknowledged the reality of climate change but has avoided saying much of anything about solutions, except for reducing trade with China, India, and Africa because of their climate footprints.  Some observers think that the other three possible choices are getting more serious consideration from Trump.

J.D. Vance. Vance is clearly the most anti-environmental of the four. He has a lifetime LCV score of 0%, meaning that he has never voted on what LCV considers the pro-environmental side of an issue.  In opposing subsidies for EV producers and buyers, Vance said that they would only benefit China and that, ”if you want to make our environment more clean, the way to do it is to invest in Ohio natural gas.” When asked his views about the reality of climate change, he responded, “Well, that’s a complicated question.” He then added that people who are really worried about climate change should favor nuclear power and ending trade with China.

All four candidates are strong supporters of fossil fuels.  Burgham’s willingness to talk about carbon neutrality makes him the most promising on environmental issues, while Vance’s unblemished anti-environmentalism makes him the worst. It’s hard to guess  whom Trump will choose, but Vance’s zealous anti-environmentalism could give him an edge.

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Reader Comments

2 Replies to “Finalists to be Trump’s Veep Pick”

  1. Dan, I really do think you are the best environmentalist leader in UC, but it really doesn’t matter who Trump picks because he is the most zealous anti-environmentalist on the planet, especially as you documented: His campaign slogan should be, “Burn, Baby, Burn.”

    Never forget the Durant’s history lessons and the fact of life that civilizations can crash and burn if political or intellectual leaders fail to meet the challenges of change.

    You are a UC intellectual leader, please
    act quickly.

  2. P.S. Dan: Maybe this kind of information will help you make the right things happen with the right sense of urgency. to get the support of the Berkeley Powers that Be by motivating them to quickly learn how to “act quickly”:

    A dangerous heat dome peaks today. Here’s how hot it could get

    It should also help to mention:
    UN chief says world is on ‘highway to climate hell’ as planet endures 12 straight months of unprecedented heat

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

READ more