WASHINGTON (May 3, 2017)—President Trump has appointed Daniel Simmons, a member of his transition team who opposes federal policies to address climate change and promote renewable energy resources, to oversee the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy—a move the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) called offensive and ironic. Simmons will serve as acting assistant secretary for the office until the Senate confirms someone for the position.
Below is a statement by John Rogers, senior energy analyst at UCS.
“This office fuels innovation in developing and deploying renewable energy and energy efficient technologies. They’re working on wind, solar and geothermal technologies, investing in electric vehicles and finding ways to reduce energy use in buildings.
“To put someone who thinks the federal government shouldn’t be promoting clean energy in charge of this office is like being assigned a doctor who thinks we shouldn’t use modern medicine. This would be comical if there weren’t so much at stake. As it is, it’s offensive and ironic. It would be great fodder for the likes of Joseph Heller or Kurt Vonnegut.
“Mr. Simmons obviously doesn’t appreciate that the renewable energy industry is today’s engine of economic growth and employs more people than coal and nuclear combined.”