US Greens fear climate backslide with Pompeo as top U.S. diplomat

23:03  13 march  2018
23:03  13 march  2018 Source:   Reuters

Rand Paul to oppose Pompeo, Haspel

  Rand Paul to oppose Pompeo, Haspel Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday he would oppose President Trump's nominations of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to be secretary of State and CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. Paul said that he will oppose the nominations and "do everything I can to block" them."My announcement today is that I will oppose both Pompeo's nomination and Haspel's nomination," Paul said.Paul was the only Republican to vote against Pompeo for CIA director. And his decision on Wednesday complicates, but doesn't unilaterally sink, Pompeo's path to leading the State Department.

a close up of a man: FILE PHOTO: CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks at the FDD National Security Summit in Washington © REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo FILE PHOTO: CIA Director Mike Pompeo speaks at the FDD National Security Summit in Washington

Several green groups criticized the Trump administration's choice on Tuesday of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, saying his past skeptical comments about global warming show he is less suited to run U.S. foreign policy about climate change than the former Exxon Mobil CEO.

Pompeo, who was a Republican congressman from Kansas prior to running the CIA under U.S. President Donald Trump, has been among the biggest critics of efforts to combat global warming by past U.S. administrations, and has questioned the validity of existing climate science - saying it needs to be developed further.

Pompeo to meet Tillerson, U.S. senators on transition

  Pompeo to meet Tillerson, U.S. senators on transition U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, will meet with Rex Tillerson at the State Department on Monday before heading to the Capitol to start trying to win confirmation from the Senate, a U.S. official said. Load Error It will be the first meeting between Pompeo, who is leaving his post as CIA director, and Tillerson since Trump's decision to fire the former Exxon Mobil CEO last week following a series of rifts over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran.Pompeo will then head to Congress for meetings with senators ahead of his nomination hearing sometime in April.

"In this position, (Pompeo) could prove to be dangerous to our national security and the safety of our planet," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

Some climate advocates said, however, they hoped the long slate of issues facing the State Department now - from North Korea's nuclear agenda to intensifying trade disputes - would keep climate change low on Pompeo's list of priorities should he be confirmed by the Senate.

"Right now, climate change is not going to be a top 10 issue for him," said Andrew Light, a former adviser to Todd Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change under Obama.

Pompeo is also a top recipient of campaign donations from Koch Industries, having taken over $375,500 from the family-owned energy conglomerate for campaigns going back to 2010, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a transparency watchdog. Koch Industries has donated millions of dollars to efforts opposing climate change regulation.

Trump's firing of Tillerson came after months of disagreements

  Trump's firing of Tillerson came after months of disagreements It's by far the biggest Trump administration shakeup yet​ as a shaken Tillerson relinquished control of the State Department ."I received a call today from the president of the United States a little after noontime from Air Force One," Tillerson said.He had been warned in an early Saturday morning phone call from White House chief of staff John Kelly that his job was in jeopardy.Tillerson -- who had been traveling in Africa -- cut short his trip.Hours after landing in Washington, Tillerson learned Tuesday he'd been fired and would be replaced by Pompeo.Mr.

His background upsets many environmentalists, but dovetails neatly with Trump's energy agenda to roll back Obama-era climate regulations and support domestic production of coal and crude oil - the fossil fuels that scientists blame for global warming. Trump has repeatedly bashed international efforts to combat climate change, and has at times called global warming a hoax.

Tillerson had also faced stern opposition from environmentalists when he was nominated as Secretary of State, given his years at the helm of one of the world's biggest oil and gas companies, but he had tried to be a moderating influence on Trump over climate policy during his tenure.

For example, Tillerson advocated continued U.S. cooperation regarding the Paris Climate Agreement, a global deal to fight warming, a battle he lost when Trump announced in June the U.S. intention to withdraw. The State Department has since continued to send delegations to international climate summits, where envoys have been perceived by their foreign counterparts as constructive.

Iran reacts to Pompeo as Trump's secretary of State pick: 'Cowboyish' and 'eager to start a war'

  Iran reacts to Pompeo as Trump's secretary of State pick: 'Cowboyish' and 'eager to start a war' Iranians braced Wednesday for further turmoil in their country's relationship with the United States, and the possible unraveling of the 2015 nuclear agreement, following President Donald Trump's nomination of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as secretary of State. "The hawks overcame the doves in the American administration," a former diplomat, Ali Khorram, wrote in a column in Arman, a daily newspaper aligned with Iranian reformists.Khorram described Pompeo — who once called for military strikes on Iranian nuclear targets — as "cowboyish in character and eager to start a war similar to the war with Iraq.

"We’ve gone from Exxon’s CEO to the Koch Brothers' most loyal lapdog," said May Boeve, executive director for climate activist group Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch own Koch Industries.

Environmental groups like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club issued similar statements, calling the nomination a potential step backwards.

Koch Industries did not immediately comment, and efforts to reach Pompeo were not successful.

Officials at the White House and the State Department did not immediately comment on whether Pompeo would be expected to update U.S. climate change policy.

"Tillerson was basically hands-off on the issue (of climate change)," said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists. "It is not clear it is going to be any more of a priority for Pompeo."

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Timothy Gardner in Washington, additional reporting by Nichola Groom in Los Angeles, writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Gulf Arabs relish Tillerson firing; Iran weighs nuclear deal .
<p>Reactions in the Middle East to the firing of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reflect the volatile divide between Iran, where many fear his departure heralds the demise of the 2015 nuclear deal, and Gulf Arab nations hoping for a more hawkish U.S. stance toward Tehran and Qatar.</p>Iran's daily Javad newspaper, believed to be close to the hard-line Revolutionary Guard, said Wednesday that replacing Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo signaled the end of the nuclear deal.

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