Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Rick Perry to Climate Activists: Fossil Fuels Save Lives

Popular

Protestors showed up to the National Petroleum Council's meeting in Washington, DC on Monday to call out Secs. Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke for their controversial stances on climate change.

After an activist expressed, "climate change is killing people," the Secretary of Energy remarked in the conference room full of oil industry representatives and executives that fossil fuels save lives.


"This industry is leading the world in affecting the climate and affecting the climate in a positive way," Perry said, according to Bloomberg. "I'm proud to be a part of this industry. You want to talk about saving lives, that's what we are doing."

The former Texas governor praised Texas' efforts in reducing carbon dioxide and other pollution and that U.S. liquefied natural gas, which produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal, is replacing dirty coal plants.

He also insisted that energy access saves lives in Africa, an industry talking point, Bloomberg noted.

"It upsets me when some guy stands up and says, 'What are you going to do, you're killing people,'" Perry said to applause. "No sir. You want to kill people, you take energy away from them and you see how those north African countries will be treated."

Some of the fossil fuel industry's biggest names, including Exxon Mobil and Shell, were present at the annual meeting.

According to Bloomberg, the protestors were removed from the hotel conference room after their remarks.

The Trump administration's environmental PR problem has been under heavy scrutiny in the wake of devastating Atlantic hurricanes that destroyed parts of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.

Earlier this month, Perry dismissed the link between climate change and its effect on extreme weather after Hurricane Harvey wrecked Houston.

"We can line up scientists on both sides of this," he told CBS News, but "this is not the time to be having this conversation."

Rather, Perry said, the focus should be on helping Hurricane Harvey victims.

"Everyone wants to run to the climate change debate, but that is very secondary at this particular time," he said.

This week happens to be Washington's inaugural " National Clean Energy Week," an event touted to bring together "high-profile elected leaders and national clean energy organizations for substantive discussions around commonsense solutions that directly address America's need for abundant, reliable forms of energy."

Perry is one of the featured speakers at Tuesday's star event, the Symposium & Demonstration Fair on Capitol Hill.

But environmental organizations criticized the weeklong event as an "ultimate corporate greenwashing experience."

In a letter addressed to members of Congress, the groups called out some of the sponsors of National Clean Energy Week as "some of the dirtiest actors in the energy industry," such as the American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, Biomass Power Association, Energy Recovery Institute (garbage incineration), and the Nuclear Energy Institute.

The letter was signed by organizations including 350.org, Friends of the Earth and Oil Change International.

"The climate crisis is real, and these clean energy claims are phony," said Dr. Mary Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a nonprofit that applies science to inform clean energy policy. "We're writing Congress to remind it that clean energy doesn't come out of a smokestack. Congress must keep its hands off Americans' wallets when these super-polluters come asking for clean energy subsidies."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

Read More Show Less
Protesters face off against security during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

In just two weeks, three states have passed laws criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen to White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speak in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has bowed to the advice of public health experts and extended social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus till at least April 30.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less