Trump Meets With Al Gore on Climate Issues Amid Pressure From His Children
Effort could clash with president-elect’s aim of boosting energy production from fossil fuels
By MICHAEL C. BENDER and AMY HARDER
Updated Dec. 5, 2016 8:39 p.m. ET
President-elect Donald Trump’s children are urging him to seize on environmental conservation as a potentially defining issue for his administration, according to two people familiar with the discussions, an effort that could clash with Mr. Trump’s aim of boosting energy production from fossil fuels and his opposition to many federal regulations.
The familial push prompted a meeting Monday in New York between Mr. Trump and former Vice President Al Gore, an outspoken climate advocate who has promoted energy efficiency and warned of the consequences of global warming.
Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, also met with Mr. Gore in Trump Tower as she determines what role she will have in the next administration. The 35-year-old businesswoman emphasized family issues during the presidential campaign and is exploring other policies she might help shape, including energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, according to a person familiar with her thinking.
Ms. Trump, who sought the meeting with the former vice president, has been a moderating influence on her father’s blunt brand of conservatism. Senior aides have said she is one of the few people in his circle able to persuade the president-elect to change a position without upsetting him.
Her sway was apparent in his decision to support a guarantee for six weeks of paid maternity leave, a departure from Republican orthodoxy.
But Ms. Trump’s further involvement in policy issues would also underscore questions about conflicts-of-interest for the Trump family and its global business empire. Ms. Trump sat in on a Nov. 17 meeting between her father and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, raising concerns about the overlap between federal policy and the family’s private business.
“They need to figure out what the Trump children are going to do,” said Richard Painter, the chief White House ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush. “I don’t see anything wrong with a corporate businesswoman being involved in a public policy discussion with the Trump administration, but that appearance will be problematic even if it’s legal.”
Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump transition, said Monday that Mr. Trump will speak about his company and his children’s role in his administration at a news conference on Dec. 15.
Mr. Trump’s position on environmental issues may not be entirely fleshed out. But he has left little doubt of his desire to boost the coal industry, beef up domestic energy production, cut regulations and take other actions that worry environmentalists.
Mr. Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said during the campaign his father would “keep public lands public and accessible” while also pushing to develop resources.
Mr. Gore has said electing Mr. Trump could lead to a “climate catastrophe.” But while Mr. Trump’s transition has reflected the value he places on loyalty, he has also shown a taste for unexpected meetings with former rivals and critics.
Asked about the Gore meeting, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said: “There’s a very small group of people in this country who’ve been president or vice president,” and Mr. Gore is one of the few “folks who breathe that rarefied air.”
Environmentalists hope Ms. Trump’s session with Mr. Gore, one of the world’s most outspoken and influential climate advocates, indicates she will champion the cause.
The Trump family bought an advertisement in 2009 in the New York Times calling for legislation “to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change.” But in a tweet from February 2010, Ms. Trump appeared to mock the idea global warming by noting that a congressional hearing on it was canceled due to a blizzard. “Ironic tidbit of the day,” she tweeted.
“Her position largely remains a question mark, but the fact she’s reaching out to people like Al Gore to try and understand this issue I think is a good sign,” said Heather Zichal, a former White House energy and climate adviser to President Barack Obama.
Mr. Gore described the meeting as “very productive.”
“It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Mr. Gore told reporters at Trump Tower. “I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”
Mr. Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax.” In 2012, he tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
Conservative backers of the Trump administration said they weren’t worried about Monday’s meetings altering Mr. Trump’s views on climate change.
“I’m not losing any sleep over it,” said Chris Warren, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance, a conservative energy group whose president, Tom Pyle, is on Mr. Trump’s transition team. “I think President-elect Trump has made it very clear that he doesn’t subscribe to Al Gore’s radical, out-of-touch philosophy.”
Write to Michael C. Bender at Mike.Bender@wsj.com and Amy Harder at email@example.com
terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2016
Al Gore Says Meeting With Donald Trump on Climate Change Was ‘Productive’ / Trump Meets With Al Gore on Climate Issues Amid Pressure From His Children
Al Gore Says Meeting With Donald Trump on Climate Change Was ‘Productive’
By MICHAEL C. BENDER
Dec 5, 2016 3:38 pm ET
One month after saying that Donald Trump “would take us toward a climate catastrophe,” former Vice President Al Gore met with the newly elected Republican on Monday in New York as he tries to extend an olive branch on his top issue.
Mr. Gore met with Mr. Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is reportedly interested in pursuing climate-change issues.
“I had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Mr. Gore told reporters at Trump Tower. “I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that.”
During the campaign, Mr. Gore criticized Mr. Trump’s stated positions on climate change, including an October campaign stop in Miami for then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in which he said electing Mr. Trump would lead to a “climate catastrophe.”
Mr. Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax.” In 2012, he posted on Twitter that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
“Climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax—a lot of people are making a lot of money,” Mr. Trump said on Meet the Press in January. “I know much about climate change. I’ve received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change.”
After the election, Reince Priebus, chief of staff to Mr. Trump, said on Fox News that the president-elect’s “default” position is that he thinks “most of it is a bunch of bunk.”
Still. Mr. Gore has said that he hopes Mr. Trump won’t undo President Barack Obama’s ambitious climate agenda. “President-elect Trump said he wanted to be a president for all Americans,” Mr. Gore wrote after the election on the website of the Climate Reality Project, the advocacy group he founded. “In that spirit, I hope that he will work with the overwhelming majority of us who believe that the climate crisis is the greatest threat we face as a nation.”