Donald Trump has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for a running mate. This will likely ease the worries expressed by key players in the energy arena, who have been concerned about Trump’s campaign. Pence’s history of standing up for Big Carbon, denying of climate science, and appreciating the Kochs has already been well documented.
Politico Pro’s headline says it all though: “Pence pick could buff Trump’s GOP energy cred.” In 2008, Pence (at that point an Indiana Congressman) demanded Democrats allow a vote to expand offshore drilling, and in 2009, he was chosen to lead the GOP’s opposition to cap-and-trade. The article also points out that some of Pence’s former staffers went on to high ranking positions in the Koch network, so perhaps this VP selection is Trump’s way of ingratiating himself to the billionaire brothers.
The pair’s Americans for Prosperity group have lauded Pence’s work as a model for others to follow. On the other hand, the League of Conservation Voters has given Pence a dismal lifetime score of 4 percent.
Media Matters has a great post on Pence’s positions, including his view on the environment. He has repeated the exhausted talking points about climate change science not being settled, and he is opposed to the Clean Power Plan. As pointed out in the Indiana Journal Gazette, Pence’s anti-EPA stance might have something to do with the hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign donations from utilities and the coal industry.
Buzzfeed put together a collection of Pence’s pieces, which include not only his climate denial, but also unsurprisingly, his opposition to regulations on smoking.
So after a solid year of Trump’s campaigning as an outsider, and his trashing of the corrupting influence of money in politics, he chose a running mate with a history of GOP fealty, and otherwise seems to be everything the industry could ever want. Given that in response to Trump’s rhetoric, so many corporations withdrew funding for the convention that the GOP had to bust out the begging bowl, maybe this is Trump’s way of paying Pence-ance to Big Business.