The globalists are on their way out of the White House, further diminishing the voices close to President Trump that say humans are warming the planet.
Departures of key personnel have left an energy and environment policy vacuum that many within the White House expect to be filled by nationalist advisers. More exits are likely on the way.
The resignation of National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, announced yesterday at a White House meeting, was the latest blow to those who remain hopeful for climate policy. His departure is seen as a potential dam break, with other aides likely following his path. The former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive supported remaining in the Paris climate accord and convened conversations with carbon tax advocates.
“I think you’ll see good people leaving from the White House,” said a White House official. “I think that their departure dates, which were sometime in the future, are going to be dramatically sped up.”
Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser, is seen by some as likely to make a play for Cohn’s job. Navarro, known as a nationalist voice in the administration, has curried favor with the president for his defense of tariffs on steel and aluminum that have engendered widespread backlash globally and within the GOP.
Cohn opposed the tariffs, which Trump is expected to formally propose any day. The White House said Cohn would still remain on staff for a few more weeks, even as Trump begins to look for his replacement.
“Will be making a decision soon on the appointment of a new Chief Economic Advisor,” Trump tweeted last night. “Many people wanting the job — will choose wisely!”
The NEC had already been weathering turmoil.
George David Banks left last month after failing to get a permanent security clearance. He handled international energy issues and was viewed as a top voice pushing for re-engagement in the Paris climate accord. That, combined with Cohn’s exit, weakens the prospects that the United States will remain in the global agreement. Trump has said he’ll pull out of the Paris pact, but he can’t formally do that until November 2020.
“One thing is for certain, the pro-Paris crowd has certainly been dealt a setback these past few weeks,” said Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research.