While slamming Trump, Bennet says bipartisanship still possible
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said Friday that international affairs would benefit from fewer utterances by President Trump on social media about the North Korea situation, called the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord “incredibly damaging” to America, and defended the media in a wide-ranging town hall at Aspen High School.
The Democrat, in the latest of multiple public forums he has scheduled in recent months, also defended his vote to confirm Rifle native David Bernhardt, the new deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. That endorsement was much to the chagrin of environmentalists who decried Bernhardt’s previous job as a lobbyist for corporations opposed to regulations that support clean air and water. Democrats said Bernhardt is a “walking conflict of interest,” The Washington Post reported.
An audience member asked how Bennet could justify supporting a person who “has spent basically his whole career as a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry … trying to circumvent the rules and regulations set in place by the government to protect the environment …
“How can that possibly help the environment?” the man asked.
Bennet said the nation has two key officials, the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the head of the Interior Department, who do not believe that climate change is real.
But Bernhardt is from Rifle and is well aware of places in the Roaring Fork Valley that need protection, Bennet said. He said he and Bernhardt had long conversations before his confirmation about such areas but acknowledged that having him as…
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