Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Take Action: Say No to Oil Insiders and Climate Deniers for Trump's Cabinet

Politics
Take Action: Say No to Oil Insiders and Climate Deniers for Trump's Cabinet

There's breaking from tradition. Then there's giving away our democracy.

Republican or Democrat, almost every incoming president has turned to the best and the brightest we have—Nobel Prize winners, visionary business leaders, proven diplomats and field-leading experts—to serve on the cabinet and lead U.S. policy in areas like foreign relations, environmental protection and energy.

But with the incoming president, we've instead got a long list of oil industry insiders and climate deniers nominated for critical cabinet positions. Just look at some of the names:

1. Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson

Led a company under investigation for misleading the investors and the public about the climate crisis and has strong ties to Russia, the same country that intelligence officials say hacked our elections. Nominated to become secretary of state.

2. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt

Received more than $300,000 in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and involved in multiple lawsuits attacking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Nominated to become EPA administrator.

3. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry

Called the climate crisis "one contrived phony mess" and proposed eliminating the U.S. Department of Energy. Nominated to become secretary of energy.

4. Representative Ryan Zinke

Disputes the reality of the climate crisis as "not proven science" and supports mining coal on public lands. Nominated to become secretary of the interior.

The implications couldn't be clearer—or more frightening. So we're standing with millions of Americans—Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and everyone in between—to say no.

This isn't about party affiliation or debates about big and small government. All Americans deserve leaders we can trust to put our needs before the profits of powerful corporations. All Americans deserve clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. All Americans deserve a safe future without the devastation of the climate crisis.

But if the Senate confirms these nominations, we're turning over the air we breathe and the lands we share to the oil companies that have willfully polluted them for decades. We're potentially opening U.S. foreign policy to be shaped by Russian influence. We're giving up our leadership on climate action to China and Europe. And we're stepping back into the nineteenth century world of fossil fuels at a time when clean energy technologies like wind and solar are getting cheaper every year and putting thousands of Americans to work.

Now it's up to the Senate to confirm or reject these nominees. So it's up to us to make sure our senators do their job and only confirm nominees we can trust to protect the health of our families and the future of our planet.

We've got our work cut out for us. Already, the Senate has taken the almost unprecedented step of scheduling five confirmation hearings on one day, Jan. 18, to minimize the media coverage and public scrutiny of controversial nominees.

The only way to fight back is by speaking up. The message to the Senate is simple: We need nominees we can trust to put ordinary Americans first. To protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the planet we share from oil companies polluting our environment and driving the climate crisis. Not oil insiders and climate deniers ready to roll back the environmental protections millions of us rely on.

It's time to stand up. Take five minutes today and let your senators know our democracy is not for sale. Not to the oil industry and its allies. Not at any price. Our families, our friends and future generations are counting on us. And we won't let them down.

Call your senators today and tell them to vote against the oil insiders and climate deniers nominated for the cabinet: Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke and Rick Perry.

Plastic bails, left, and aluminum bails, right, are photographed at the Green Waste material recovery facility on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in San Jose, California. Aric Crabb / Digital First Media / Bay Area News via Getty Images

By Courtney Lindwall

Coined in the 1970s, the classic Earth Day mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has encouraged consumers to take stock of the materials they buy, use, and often quickly pitch — all in the name of curbing pollution and saving the earth's resources. Most of us listened, or lord knows we tried. We've carried totes and refused straws and dutifully rinsed yogurt cartons before placing them in the appropriately marked bins. And yet, nearly half a century later, the United States still produces more than 35 million tons of plastic annually, and sends more and more of it into our oceans, lakes, soils, and bodies.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
Trending
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less