Environment

Climate Groups Organize 'Day Against Denial' to Reject Trump's Cabinet

The rallies will take place at dozens of U.S. senators' in-state offices nationwide.

Donald Trump (JStone/Shutterstock); Mike Pence (Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock); Ryan Zinke (speaker.gov); Wilbur Ross (Xavier HS); Rick Perry (Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock); Rex Tillerson (Twitter)
Photo Credit: Donald Trump (JStone/Shutterstock); Mike Pence (Gino Santa Maria/Shutterstock); Ryan Zinke (speaker.gov); Wilbur Ross (Xavier HS); Rick Perry (Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock); Rex Tillerson (Twitter)

On Monday, January 9th, a coalition of climate and environmental organizations will be joined by people across the country at rallies for the #DayAgainstDenial aimed at stopping Trump’s cabinet. The rallies will take place at dozens of U.S. Senators’ in-state offices, calling for these elected officials to reject Trump’s climate denial cabinet, including Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, for Secretary of State; Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator; Ex-Gov. Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy; and Rep. Ryan Zinke for Department of Interior. See a full map of rallies here.

“Trump is trying to hand over senior federal positions directly to fossil fuel industry puppets and climate deniers, and we won’t let him get away with it,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “These are radical nominations that should never be approved, and we’re seeing resistance nationwide with rallies planned in dozens of states so far. Our Senators have a critical decision to make: either stand with science and a livable planet for our communities, or side with the fossil fuel industry’s climate denial.”

All four cabinet nominees have ties to the fossil fuel industry and a history of climate denial. As CEO of Exxon, Tillerson led the company on a decades-long and ongoing campaign deceiving the public about the dangerous impacts of their fossil fuels on our climates and communities, while raking in outrageous profits.

An investigation revealed that Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt allowed the fossil fuel industry to draft comment letters sent to the EPA on his own letterhead. Perry called climate change a “contrived phony mess” and was a director at Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline. Rep. Zinke back-peddled on his acknowledgement of climate change and equates “protection” for public lands with leasing them to the fossil fuel industry.

“With a cabinet full of science deniers and fossil fuel hacks poised to take over key watchdog agencies, Donald Trump is putting arsonists in charge of the fire department,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Large majorities of the American people want action to protect our climate, clean air and clean water. That’s why picking disastrous nominees like these further ensure Trump will enter office as the least popular President-elect in recent memory -- and why grassroots action like this will only increase to ensure our Senators make the right decision and stand with our planet and our communities, and not big polluters.”

Monday’s rallies are being organized by local leaders across the country with support from 350.org, Greenpeace, CREDO Action, the Sierra Club, and many more. Over 60 events have been planned so far, with more being added everyday.

“Trump wants to put anti-science climate change deniers in charge of climate, energy and environmental policy in the United States,” said Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director at CREDO. “The stakes couldn’t be higher,” Nelson continued. “When the Senate votes on the confirmation of Trump’s climate denial cabinet, every U.S. Senator will be forced to choose between the fate of the planet and the profits of the fossil fuel industry,” Nelson added. “The American people will be watching.”

On Tuesday, 350.org organized a national call-in day to U.S. Senators on their first day of work in 2017, urging them to vote against all four nominees because climate denial has no place in the White House cabinet. Trump’s other nominees include racist Senator Jeff Sessions and anti-labor CEO Andy Puzder. On-going actions targeting cabinet appointees are planned throughout January.

“Trump’s nominees are science-denying corporate lackeys who have vowed to pick apart the critical protections their agencies oversee,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. “The American people see the elevation of Pruitt, Tillerson, Zinke, Perry, and Sessions for what it is: An attack on our collective well-being. Now is the time to strengthen our checks on the corporate takeover of our democracy and the climate -- not erase them. Resisting these appointments is a message from the majority of Americans who didn't vote for Trump to their Senators: If you don’t choose us over corporate interests, we’ll choose somebody else.”

Dani Heffernan is the U.S. communications coordinator for 350.org and 350Action.org. Follow her on Twitter @DaniHeffernan.

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