We can’t abide a “Climate-Denial Cabinet”
At our monthly meeting on 1/8/2017, OCA unanimously directed our Executive Committee to write this letter to Washington’s Senators, urging them to carefully vet the Cabinet-level nominees of the incoming Trump administration, to protect our community from the consequences of failing to act decisively on climate change. And we’re urging our local governments to write a similar note.
This issue is on the Clallam County Commissioners’ work session agenda for Jan. 17, between 9-10 AM. Concerned citizens are urged to attend.
We are quite concerned about the actions to date of President-Elect Trump and his advisors on the issue of climate change, many of whom seem determined to moving the country backwards on climate. We simply cannot afford to move backward: the consensus climate models indicate that if decisive action is not taken immediately, we will be setting in motion an unacceptable level of climate chaos for decades to come. We are concerned by a number of facts about Trump’s cabinet-level nominees:
- There is evidence that Trump has leaned heavily on advice from the multi-billionaire fossil-fuel magnates and climate deniers, the Koch brothers, and other fossil-fuel industry executives.
- Scott Pruitt, nominated for head of the EPA, is a climate change denier who has worked on behalf of the fossil fuel industry to gut environmental laws that protect our climate and public health, and as Oklahoma Attorney General let an oil company official write some of his official correspondence.
- Rex Tillerson, nominated for Secretary of State, has never worked anywhere except Exxon, the company most responsible for decades of cynical deception about the risks of climate change—and is now under investigation for fraud. Most recently at his Senate confirmation hearings, he said that the climate change literature is “inconclusive” and refused to answer questions about the oil giant’s long history of denying the science of climate change. Following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and seizure of Crimea, he continued to support Russia’s development of its off-shore Arctic oil fields, pursuing partnerships with Russian oil interests faced with western sanctions.
- Ryan Zinke, nominated for Secretary of the Interior, denies human-caused climate change and has stated his intention to lease public lands to the fossil-fuel industry (which contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign) for pennies per acre.
- Rick Perry, nominated for Secretary of Energy, campaigned in 2012 wanting to abolish that very agency, and has called climate change a “contrived phony mess”. He sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline.
- Mike Pompeo, nominated to head the CIA, has ridiculed concerns about climate change, ignoring the national-security implications.
In summary, we are concerned that Donald Trump seems to be putting in place a Climate Denial administration that threatens our very future, and we ask you to do everything in your power to protect our nation and the earth from those who ignore science, risking those they are entrusted to protect. To send a message to Trump, go here. And to send a message to the Senate about these nominees, go here.
The risks of climate change to our local community have been well documented in a recent multi-stakeholder study in which most of our local governments were involved, led by the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council—see http://www.noprcd.org/about2. We simply cannot afford to stop making progress on the transition to a clean-energy economy and on preparing for climate impacts we won’t be able to avoid. We must all stand up to protect our common future.