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No to the Climate Denying Trump Cabinet: Colorado Environmental Groups Picket at the Offices of Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Gardner (R-CO)

January 9, 2017
Picketers at Senator Michael Bennet's (D-CO) office calling on the Senator to vote against the confirmation of climate-denying cabinet hopefuls.

Picketers at Senator Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) office calling on the Senator to vote against the confirmation of climate-denying cabinet hopefuls.

We call on you, our elected representatives to the U.S. Senate, to block Mr. Trump’s Cabinet picks including:

– Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State nominee, spent his career at Exxon and has been CEO since 2006. Exxon has paid 40 organizations to create doubt about the settled science of climate change, using some of the same PR people the tobacco companies used. They are manipulating the media to convince the public that fossil fuels don’t hurt our environment. They’re lying.
– Scott Pruitt, EPA head nominee, is a climate change denier who wants to abolish the EPA. He has fought and sued the agency he’s being asked to run. He opposes the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon and has demonstrated an anti-environmental agenda throughout his career. As Attorney General, Pruitt has done nothing to protect the people of Oklahoma from the alarming influx of earthquakes caused by fracking and waste disposal in the state.
– Ryan Zinke, Department. of the Interior nominee, has a 3% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, saying he is a “climate denier who supports drilling in the Arctic and continuing outrageous subsidies for dirty energy development on public lands–positions that align with the oil and gas companies that have spent nearly $350,000 on his campaigns.”
– Rick Perry, Department of Energy nominee, doesn’t accept the scientific consensus on the importance of reducing carbon emissions to slow the impact of human-induced climate change. He is on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has attracted global negative attention for its horrific abuses of Native Americans and allies attempting to protect their ancient burial grounds, unceded territory and drinking water for million of Americans.

Denial Is Not An Energy Policy

Considering that it was a weekday the turnout for the picket at Senator Michael Bennet’s office was sizable. My informal estimate is that 200+ people turned up there at noon today (Monday, January 9,2017) to “Stand Up Against Trump’s Anti-Climate/Environment Cabinet.” A huge banner read “Denial Is Not An Energy Policy.” Other picket signs included “Oil, Coal and Gas = Climate Chaos,” “Climate Denial = Climate Disaster,” “Stop Trump’s Big Oil Climate Denial Cabinet,”Protect The Generation.”

Organized by 350Colorado, representatives handed Rosalie Rodriguez, from Denver’s office staff, a petition calling on the Congress to reject the nominations of Rex Tillerson, C.E.O of EXXON as Secretary of State, Scott Pruitt, EPA head nominee, a climate change denier who wants to abolish the EPA, Ryan Zinke, Department. of the Interior nominee who  who supports drilling in the Arctic and continuing  subsidies for dirty energy development on public lands and Rick Perry, Department of Energy nominee and former Texas governor, on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Senator Bennet’s office was concerned enough with the size and militancy of the demonstration’s picket that she felt obliged to address the crowd. She emphasized that Bennet would follow the same nomination process that Obama appointees had to undergo when seeking confirmation from Congress. In a Republican dominated House and Senate, it is hard to tell how all this will play out; the Democrats will need Republican allies to stop any of these nominations or the others. Trump’s incoming cabinet, if confirmed, is little more than a bevy of billionaires, climate deniers and war mongers. The appointments would be laughable (like Trump’s whole presidency) if not for the fact that these meshugganahs can do untold damage to the country and the world.

Below is the letter – a petition signed by more than 700 Coloradans that was delivered to both Bennet and his over-the-top right-wing Republican colleague, Cory Gardner.2017-01-09-350-org-3

Dear Senators Bennet and Gardner,

We, the undersigned Colorado organizational, business, community and faith leaders and residents call on you to reject incoming President Donald Trump’s proposed Cabinet, which includes several picks lacking adequate knowledge, experience, ethics, and respect for the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding the reality and seriousness of man-made climate change.

Colorado boasts some of the most prestigious scientific research organizations in the world, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Many of these highly respected scientists serve on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in its Fourth Assessment Report concluded that:

– “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level”.
– Most of the global average warming over the past 50 years is “very likely” (greater than 90% probability, based on expert judgement) due to human activities.
– “Impacts [of climate change] will very likely increase due to increased frequencies and intensities of some extreme weather events”.
– “Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries even if GHG emissions were to be reduced sufficiently for GHG concentrations to stabilize, due to the time scales associated with climate processes and feedbacks”.
– “Unmitigated climate change would, in the long-term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt”.

With over 97% of the world’s climate scientists in agreement that climate change is real and primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels, it would be irresponsible and unconscionable to allow Mr. Trump to appoint to his Cabinet individuals who deny the very existence of anthropogenic climate change. The vast majority of Coloradans agree with the accepted science and are very concerned about the impacts to themselves and future generations. Indeed, many Coloradans have now directly experienced the impacts of climate change via more extreme weather events – record-breaking floods, droughts, temperature extremes, the pine beetle epidemic, and wildfires. These impacts harm our safety, health, quality of life, tourism and skiing industry, farming and more.

We call on you, our elected representatives to the U.S. Senate, to block Mr. Trump’s Cabinet picks including:

– Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State nominee, spent his career at Exxon and has been CEO since 2006. Exxon has paid 40 organizations to create doubt about the settled science of climate change, using some of the same PR people the tobacco companies used. They are manipulating the media to convince the public that fossil fuels don’t hurt our environment. They’re lying.
– Scott Pruitt, EPA head nominee, is a climate change denier who wants to abolish the EPA. He has fought and sued the agency he’s being asked to run. He opposes the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon and has demonstrated an anti-environmental agenda throughout his career. As Attorney General, Pruitt has done nothing to protect the people of Oklahoma from the alarming influx of earthquakes caused by fracking and waste disposal in the state.
– Ryan Zinke, Department. of the Interior nominee, has a 3% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, saying he is a “climate denier who supports drilling in the Arctic and continuing outrageous subsidies for dirty energy development on public lands–positions that align with the oil and gas companies that have spent nearly $350,000 on his campaigns.”
– Rick Perry, Department of Energy nominee, doesn’t accept the scientific consensus on the importance of reducing carbon emissions to slow the impact of human-induced climate change. He is on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has attracted global negative attention for its horrific abuses of Native Americans and allies attempting to protect their ancient burial grounds, unceded territory and drinking water for million of Americans.

These are radical appointments that will have a real impact on our environment, public health, and social justice. It is unacceptable for Senators to vote for such extremists. There is a very clear choice: stand with science or side with the fossil fuel industry. These appointees stand on the side of the fossil fuel industry instead of with our communities and climate. The vast majority of the public wants action to protect our climate and promote clean energy. These appointments will undo the progress our nation has made toward this goal.

This is an issue of utmost national importance. We request a statement from you regarding your position on these appointments as soon as possible. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Denial Is No Energy Policy

Denial Is No Energy Policy

One Comment leave one →
  1. K P Fabian permalink
    January 9, 2017 5:12 pm

    Those who deny climate change do so mostly for private profit at the cost of public good. There are also some people who have been misled. It is only the second set of people who can be asked to join the debate. The first group does not want to listen.

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