‘The Guy Who Defended Company That Caused Worst Oil Spill in US History’ Just Confirmed to Head DOJ’s Environmental Division
“Clark’s blatant hostility toward environmental protection is good news for polluters, but awful news for the rest of us.”
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) joined with Senate Republicans on Thursday to confirm Jeffrey Bossert Clark—a climate-denying former attorney for the fossil fuel industry—to lead the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“The guy who defended the company that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history is not likely to aggressively go after corporate environmental outlaws.”
—Ken Cook, EWG
“Clark’s blatant hostility toward environmental protection is good news for polluters, but awful news for the rest of us,” warned Environmental Working Group (EWG) president Ken Cook. “The guy who defended the company that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history is not likely to aggressively go after corporate environmental outlaws.”
The new assistant attorney general’s nomination has been stalled for more than a year due to concerns about his history as a lawyer. Clark has represented B.P. in lawsuits that stemmed from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in suits attacking the U.S. government’s authority to craft regulations that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
In his new post, as E&E News reports, “Clark will lead the federal government’s litigation positions in cases dealing with pollution control laws, public lands, natural resources, wildlife, and tribal issues.” Jeffrey Wood—who worked for Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he was a senator for Alabama—has been running the division during the lengthy confirmation process.
“[Clark] is a favorite of the Federalist Society, having chaired that group’s environmental law and practice group. But his nomination is strongly opposed by groups that care about protecting the environment,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told The Hill. “He is exactly the wrong person to be in this job of enforcing regulations to protect our environment.”