Quantcast

Three Senators Say No to John Kerry and Yes to Keystone XL

Climate

DeSmogBlog

By Brendan DeMelle

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved the nomination of Sen. John Kerry as the new Secretary of State, by a vote of 94-3. The three "no" votes were cast by infamous climate denier James Inhofe (R-OK), and two anti-environment Texas Republicans, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.

All three Republican Senators, Cornyn, Cruz and Inhofe signed the letter to President Obama last week calling for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would lead to the expansion of the Alberta tar sands, one of the dirtiest megaprojects on earth. 

John Kerry is praised for his environmental record as a Senator, and he's widely anticipated to uphold his leadership role on climate change issues as Secretary of State. 

During his confirmation hearings, Kerry promised to make climate change a top priority:

"I will be a passionate advocate about this, but not based on ideology, but based on facts, based on science."

A Closer Look At The Three Kerry "Nay" Sayers

Sen. Ted Cruz is a conservative tea partier who signed Americans for Prosperity's "No Climate Tax Pledge," and says he would like to abolish the Department of Energy

His campaign website featured a "Stop the EPA" graphic that seems modeled after either a grade school lipstick attack on a bathroom mirror.

Demonstrating his zealous disregard for safeguarding the public from pollution, Cruz's 2011 campaign Growth and Jobs Agenda number two priority was to "Kill Cap and Trade," and number four was to revoke the sensible moratorium on offshore drilling in the wake of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. In priority five, Cruz opposed holding polluters accountable, wailing that "ominously, EPA has launched 'investigations' into hydraulic fracturing."

Cruz's campaign efforts relied on large cash injections and support from anti-environmental groups like Freedomworks and Americans for Prosperity, both with deep Koch roots.

For his part, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said this of the Environmental Protection Agecny (EPA) under Obama:

"The EPA has systematically targeted Texas through burdensome regulatory overreach, putting politics ahead of facts and due process. Now we know they intend to crucify energy producers in our state. It is time for the Obama Administration to get its boot off the neck of Texas job creators and either lead, follow, or just get out of the way.”

Like Cruz, Cornyn is against the EPA establishing federal standards for fracking—he'd prefer states and localities to (fail to) oversee the drilling bonanza in various shale basins. This is the ALEC-driven corporate playbook, as we've documented on DeSmogBlog.

Cornyn also carried the coal industry's water by citing the debunked "job killing" talking point about curbing mercury emissions from power plants. Cornyn's environmental record scored a 0 percent rating from LCV, he strongly prefers dirty energy to clean, and he's no fan of the Endangered Species Act either.

And Inhofe … well, everyone already knows how his understanding of science is backwards. He's the senior ranking science denier whose affiliation should be changed from (R-OK) to (R-Denial). 

I'll let Inhofe's own words about Kerry's confirmation speak for themselves:

“I have known Sen. Kerry for many years and consider him a friend, however, I am simply too philosophically opposed on the issues to support his nomination,” Inhofe said. “I do not believe that Kerry is a strong advocate of U.S. sovereignty, but favors expanding the powers of the United Nations at the expense of the U.S. For example, Kerry was the leader, as Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to pass the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), and supports most all sovereignty eroding treaties involving the United Nations including the International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities, and the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty among others.”

“Kerry has also been a strong advocate for U.S. action on climate change,” Inhofe said. “While these discussions of a legislative solution have proved to be pointless since the Senate defeated global warming legislation in 2009, the topic remains a high priority for the international community. I expect Kerry will spend a significant amount of his time supporting the United Nations with a revived Kyoto Treaty to combat climate change, which would be devastating to every facet of our economy.”

It wouldn't, and in fact the far larger threat to our economy is ignoring action to address climate change. Every day we delay, the bill grows larger.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE and KEYSTONE XL pages for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
The Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu speaks on Jan. 26 during a press briefing on studying the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and developing a vaccine to prevent it. Roman Balandin / TASS / Getty Images

Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.

Read More
Sponsored
Healthline ranks Samoas, seen above, as the 11th healthiest Girl Scout Cookie. brian / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Nancy Schimelpfening

  • Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
  • Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
  • Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
  • However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.

Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.

Read More
Actress Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. John Lamparski / Getty Images

When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.

Read More
A solitary Dungeness crab sits in the foreground, at low tide on an overcast day. The crabs' shells are dissolving because of ocean acidification on the West Coast. Claudia_Kuenkel / iStock / Getty Images

As the Pacific Ocean becomes more acidic, Dungeness crabs, which live in coastal areas, are seeing their shells eaten away, according to a new study commissioned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Read More