A new hire by Sen. Jim Inhofe for his committee staff seems to be somewhat of a global warming believer.
Inhofe hired George “Dave” Banks, who served as a senior adviser on international affairs in the George W. Bush administration’s White House Council on Environmental Quality from 2006 to 2009, to be deputy staff director for the Inhofe-led minority on the Environment and Public Works Committee, according to Environment and Energy Daily.
Although Inhofe said that Banks was a strong opponent of cap-and-trade and Banks was endorsed by the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, Banks also won an award from the Obama administration for climate diplomacy. As reported by E&E Daily:
… Banks won an award from the Obama administration U.S. EPA in 2009 for his work in international climate diplomacy. Banks was “the only Bush political appointee to have ever received such an award,” according to a news release put out by the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development, where Banks was a senior law fellow after leaving CEQ.
“I don’t agree with Dave all of the time on environment policy, but he’s smart, pragmatic and a terrific strategist,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the institute. “He’d make a great general.”
John Coequyt, the Sierra Club’s senior climate and energy representative, paid similar kudos to Banks after he won the award in 2009.
“He worked with the environmental community while he was there to get what he could out of the Bush administration,” Coequyt said at the time. “He was straightforward about what the administration was doing and kept the environmental community in the loop and helped us focus on the areas where we could make progress under the Bush administration.”
Banks won the Climate Protection Award for his work strengthening the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty, including arguing for the Bush administration’s position that hydrofluorocarbons should not be used as a substitute for ozone-depleting chemicals because they are a potent contributor to global warming.
As cap-and-trade is no longer an issue, and the Montreal Protocol and the notion that HFCs contribute to global warming are both junk science, Banks’ activities will merit watching.