Donald van der Vaart was North Carolina’s top environmental official under former Gov. Pat McCrory. When Gov. Roy Cooper took office, Van der Vaart demoted himself and was later placed on suspension after writing a controversial opinion piece in an environmental law journal. However, he recently reemerged as a candidate for President Trump's Council on Environmental Quality.
Among van der Vaart’s many published opinions was one that called for the repeal of a key provision of the Clean Air Act. He joined other states in a lawsuit against the Obama administration posing the question: Who should control energy generation: Washington, D.C. or individual states? He later joined other states in a letter to then President-elect Donald Trump asking him to limit the control of the Environmental Protection Agency. WUNC Managing Editor Dave Dewitt joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the platform and personality of a man poised to shape the president's environmental policy.