David Hawkins

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David G. Hawkins is the Director of Climate Programs for the U.S.-based environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council.[1]


A biographical note states that Hawkins began his work in "public interest" law upon graduation from Columbia University Law School in 1970. "After working for the Stern Community Law Firm in Washington, DC for one year, he joined NRDC's then new Washington office in 1971. Together with former NRDC attorney Dick Ayres, Mr. Hawkins began NRDC's Clean Air Project. The Project has monitored and shaped the design of the federal Clean Air Act since the law's passage. The intent of the Project has been to provide a voice for the public in the countless decisions that EPA and State agencies make every year in delivering on the law's promise of improved air quality," it states.[2]

"In the early 1970s, Mr. Hawkins was successful in persuading the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) to deny delays to the auto industry in meeting pollution cleanup schedules; he also won a major case requiring EPA to develop programs to improve transportation systems in urban areas as an air pollution control strategy. In 1977 he was appointed by President Carter to be Assistant Administrator for Air, Noise, and Radiation at EPA. In that position he was responsible for initiating major new programs under the 1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act," the biographical note states.[2][3]

"With President Reagan's election in 1981, Mr. Hawkins returned to NRDC to co-direct NRDC's Clean Air Program. Working with the Clean Air Coalition, NRDC defeated a prolonged effort by the new administration to roll back the protections o the Clean Air Act. Eventually Congress passed a much-strengthened law in 1990 and NRDC was a major architect for all of its provisions. Since 1990 Mr. Hawkins has directed NRDC's Air and Energy Program, and in 2001 became director of the NRDC Climate Center, which focuses on advancing policies and programs to reduce pollution responsible for global warming and harmful climate change," it states.[2]

Promoting Carbon Capture and Storage

In early 2004 Hawkins appeared at a series of conferences organised around Australia by the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies promoting Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). While CCS was being promoted by the coal industry, environmentalists pointed out that the Australian government had refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and had slashed funding for renewable energy. Despite the concern of local environmentalists, Hawkins defended his CCS advocacy efforts. "What we are exploring is whether political power that is represented by the fossil energy industry can actually be used to move the process forward rather than have them in their traditional role of opposing action," Hawkins said.[4]

Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown was critical of Hawkins enthusiasm for working with the coal industry. "It just seems politically bizarre to say that you have to get into bed with the big fossil fuel lobby, that we have to help them out rather than throwing our weight behind the emerging industries in renewable energy," he said.[4]"I don't accept the argument that the coal industry needs to be taken along with us. They will end up putting huge amounts of money into researching sequestration and a pilot plant but nothing like it into the renewables side," he said.


Articles and Resources


  1. "About NRDC", NRDC website, accessed May 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "David G. Hawkins" Earth Institute, Columbia University, accessed May 2008.
  3. " David G. Hawkins", Environmental Protection Agency, Media Release, October 11, 1977.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bob Burton, "Australia Pursues Greenhouse Gas Burial as Climate Solution", Environment News Service, March 1, 2004.
  5. Directors, Resources for the Future, accessed October 3, 2008.
  6. Directors, Woods Hole Research Center, accessed April 1, 2010.
  7. ""David G. Hawkins", Center for Clean Air Policy website, accessed August 2010.

Related SourceWatch Articles

External links

Biographical notes

Articles and Presentations By Hawkins

General Articles