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By Mark Schlosberg
Mike Pompeo, a former congressman, current CIA director, and Trump's nominee to be Secretary of State, will face confirmation hearing this week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. For anyone who cares about the environment, Pompeo as Secretary of State is a frightening prospect. His nomination must be rejected—any Senator who votes in support of Pompeo will clearly be siding with the fossil fuel industry over public health and climate stability.
Trump's agenda on climate, energy and the environment is crystal clear: deny science, ignore the impacts of pollution on our air, water and people, and as directed by industry, shred any common-sense environmental regulation in reach. The elevation of Mike Pompeo to Secretary of State would give Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt another willing partner in their agenda of environmental destruction.
Pompeo's record speaks for itself. Back in congress, he was the top recipient of campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, and he did everything in his power to fuel their deregulatory and pro-fossil fuel agenda. He is a climate denier who called relatively weak Obama administration efforts to address climate change "radical" and "damaging." He authored the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, which would have expedited the approval of fracked gas pipelines. And he called for the permanent elimination of wind power production tax credits, at a time when we need to be giving every incentive for more solar and wind production as we move off fossil fuels.
Pompeo also carried water for the corporate chemical giant Monsanto, authoring federal legislation that stripped states of their rights to label genetically modified foods. This law was passed at a time when states were beginning to pass labeling laws under great pressure from rising public demand for the right to know what we're eating.
When Pompeo was confirmed as CIA Director he received support from a large number of Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Foreign Relations Committee members Tim Kaine (VA) and Jean Shaheen (NH), senators like Dianne Feinstein (CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Amy Klobuchar (MN) who say we need to protect our climate for future generations.
As the country's top diplomat, the Secretary of State is charged with, among other immensely important things, negotiating with other countries regarding climate change and global energy sourcing. Science tells us undeniably that human fossil fuel consumption is rapidly warming the planet. Not only must we act, but we must act immediately and decisively to avert greater climate chaos and more humanitarian disasters. This is why more than 200 organizations delivered a letter this week to all senators, demanding they reject the Pompeo nomination.
Any senator who votes for Pompeo for Secretary of State will be sending a clear signal that they are choosing to side with fossil fuel industry polluters over people and the planet. They must choose. We'll be watching.
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By Tara Lohan
In 2017 the Thomas fire raged through 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, California, leaving in its wake a blackened expanse of land, burned vegetation, and more than 1,000 destroyed buildings.
By Danielle Nierenberg and Katherine Walla
As the holiday season ramps up for many across the world, Food Tank is highlighting 15 children's books that will introduce young eaters, growers and innovators to the world of food and agriculture. Authors and organizations are working to show children the importance — and fun — of eating healthy, nutritious and delicious food, growing their own produce, and giving food to others in need.
By Lauren Wolahan
For the first time ever, the UN is building out a roadmap for curbing carbon pollution from agriculture. To take part in that process, a coalition of U.S. farmers traveled to the UN climate conference in Madrid, Spain this month to make the case for the role that large-scale farming operations, long criticized for their outsized emissions, can play in addressing climate change.