The Trump official who manages US federal lands once denied there was a hole in the ozone layer and called environmental activism 'the last refuge of the left'
- The Trump administration official in charge of overseeing US federal lands has a long history of controversial statements publicly doubting climate change.
- William Perry Pendley currently serves as the acting director of the Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management. The Trump administration has yet to nominate a permanent director of the bureau.
- CNN's KFile dug up several of Pendley's previous statements, including a 1990s speech in which he denied there was a hole in the ozone layer, though scientists had been documenting the thinning ozone since the 1980s.
- Pendley was appointed to the job in July 2019, and immediately set off a firestorm of criticism for his past statements opposing the "tyranny" of federally owned public land and advocating for selling it off.
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But much of his public remarks and writings are available online, including a 1992 speech to the Washington-based conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, in which he accused the media of inventing the so-called "ozone hole" - a layer of protective ozone that scientists documented as rapidly thinning beginning in the 1980s.
"Despite the total absence of credible scientific evidence, the media is convinced and is attempting to convince us that we have global warming, an Ozone hole and acid rain and that it is all man's fault," he said.
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