Huntsman Picks Mark McIntosh, Activist Environmental Justice Lawyer, As Top Advisor

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman has picked an activist environmental lawyer to be his top energy advisor, distinguishing himself from a field dominated by fossil interests. Huntsman, President Obama’s former ambassador to China, selected Mark McIntosh, a Boyden & Gray energy lawyer, as his policy director. McIntosh is a former George W. Bush official, serving as deputy general counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality under Jim Connaughton.

McIntosh has a long record of environmental activism, and is now an influential actor in the international movement to stop global warming. An heir to the A&P fortune, McIntosh oversaw policy operations for The Pew Environment Group, was an attorney for Earthjustice, and worked at the Environmental Law Clinic. He has long been vice president of his family’s ecocruise non-profit, The Boat Company. The McIntosh Foundation is a major contributor to environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and the Earth Day Network.

In recent years, McIntosh has been the legal advisor to ClientEarth, a European legal non-profit dedicated to environmental activism founded with support from the McIntosh Foundation. ClientEarth believes that a healthy environment is a “fundamental human right,” like liberty and free speech. Other excerpts from the ClientEarth website demonstrate its strong commitment to aggressive action on global warming:

ClientEarth is an organisation of activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet.

Coal power is globally the single biggest threat to a secure climate, and we are working across Europe to oppose new coal power stations unless they capture the carbon they produce.

Huntsman is the only Republican candidate other than Mitt Romney to publicly admit that fossil fuel pollution is threatening our planet’s climate. Unlike Romney, who is getting climate advice from a pro-pollution Bush lawyer, Huntsman seems to have picked an advisor with a significant background in environmental activism.

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