Under Barack Obama’s presidency, the Energy Department did plenty of the heavy lifting so that the president could put his pen and phone to work on new regulations. Now, a leaked memo has shown that the Trump transition team wants to know exactly which employees did that lifting.
According to Bloomberg News, a document sent to the Energy Department by Trump’s advisers asked the agency “to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules.”
Advisers for Trump also asked the department to provide them with information on the Energy Department’s loan programs, the basis for its statistics and what kind of research they it has been doing.
The document, according to Reuters, was sent to the agency Tuesday and leaked on Friday. Several Energy Department officials were cited as saying that they felt uncomfortable with what Trump’s team was doing.
“This feels like the first draft of an eventual political enemies list,” an anonymous Energy Department staffer told Reuters. “When Donald Trump said he wanted to drain the swamp it apparently was just to make room for witch hunts and it’s starting here at the DOE and our 17 national labs.”
Of course, that quote illustrates perfectly why Trump is circulating the memo in the first place. The Department of Energy under the Obama administration has been more concerned with social change and agenda-pursuing than actual energy policy.
While we don’t exactly entertain the thought of a hit-list for those who supported Obama at the Energy Department, read the quote above. The man rues the fact that this sounds like an enemies list, and then makes it perfectly clear he’s an enemy of the incoming president.
Even if this were a nascent list of Obama loyalists, let’s point out that all Trump is doing is trying to ensure that the Energy Department exists to carry out his proposals, the same way it did under President Obama. It is not the job of the agency’s employees to make regulations or pass legislation. That’s the role of the president and Congress. Their job is to work with the president and to provide him with accurate data and analysis.
Should they do this, I doubt they will have any problems. If they cannot, then it’s time for them to go.
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