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Senate 'Puts Party Loyalty Above the Good of Our Nation' With Confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions—who has a civil rights history was so troubling that a Republican Senate refused to confirm him as a federal judge in the 1980s—was confirmed Wednesday in the full Senate (52-47) to serve as U.S. Attorney General, despite the unprecedented and growing opposition to Donald Trump's unfit nominees and the radical, minority views they represent.
"Jeff Sessions fits right in with Donald Trump's collection of unqualified, unfit nominees who have largely been hostile to the missions—and, at times, very existence—of the agencies they've been asked to lead," Martin Hayden, Earthjustice vice president of policy and litigation, said. "Sessions' abysmal record of opposition to fundamental civil rights and environmental protections disqualifies him for service as head of our federal department dedicated to justice for everyone in our country.
"President Trump's nominees may have been released with a fury, but they are barely dragging across the finish line—winning confirmation only because Republican senators have put party loyalty above the good of our nation ... Earthjustice will hold Sessions accountable in the court of law."
What is Sen. Sessions' record on environmental protection?
He has a dismal record on the environment, climate change and pollution control efforts. A climate change denier, Sessions has opposed nearly every piece of global warming and environmental legislation since 1997.
This year, Sessions opposed amendments in the Energy Policy Modernization Act that would have incentivized energy efficiency, phased out fossil fuel subsidies, and established a national energy efficiency standard.
In 2015, he voted for a resolution to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) carbon pollution standards for new and modified power plants. Sessions has also pushed to gut clean water rules, undermine the protection of imperiled plants and wildlife and opposed climate change science education.
In 2012, he supported a resolution that would roll back protections from toxic mercury which EPA estimates prevent 11,000 premature deaths a year. Also, during a Senate hearing on climate science, he refused to accept that 97 percent of climate scientists believe that global warming is happening and humans are causing it.What does the U.S. Attorney General do?
The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the U.S. federal government and head of the Department of Justice. The Attorney General is sworn to enforce and uphold all laws of our nation, including the laws that protect our right to a healthy environment and the laws that uphold our fundamental civil rights. There is no fixed term length for the Attorney General position.
Sessions has voted to defund renewable and solar energy development, voted against tax incentives for renewables like solar and wind, and favored the renewal of oil and gas exploration subsidies. On its most recent National Environmental Scorecard, the League of Conservation Voters scored Sessions in the single digits: an appalling 4 percent—and 7 percent over his whole career, placing him in the lowest quarter of all senators.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.
Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers and New Yorkers Fleeing Coronavirus Went to Next
By Eoin Higgins
A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a policy memo yesterday that is an expansive relaxation of legally mandated regulations on polluting industries, saying that industries may have trouble adhering to the regulations while they are short-staffed during the coronavirus global pandemic, according to the AP.
2019 marked the fourth year in a row that the Atlantic hurricane season saw above-average activity, and it doesn't look like 2020 will provide any relief.