The GOP wasn’t exactly working hard to protect the environment before Tuesday’s elections, but the new conservative senators might be one of the least environmentally-friendly groups ever elected.
Most of this new class of Republican legislators have ties to the fossil fuel industry and either outright deny that climate change exists or deny that it is manmade, reported Mother Jones. Included in the group are:
- Dan Sullivan (AK), who said “the jury’s out” on whether or not climate change is manmade, and said “we should lock up America’s resources and kill tens of thousands of jobs by continuing to pursue the President’s anti-energy policies
- Tom Cotton (AR), a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline, who said “The simple fact is that for the last 16 years the earth’s temperature has not warmed,” even though data shows that each of the last 12 months have been among the hottest on record
- Cory Gardner (CO), who seems to flip-flop on the idea, saying that he believes the climate is changing, but he “disagrees to the extent that it’s been in the news,” and that the Obama administration was waging “a war on the kind of energy we use every day – fossil fuels … because they want to tell us how to live our lives.”
- David Perdue (GA), who called the EPA’s carbon emissions rules “shortsighted” and said told Slate this year that if there were climate-related issues to Georgia’s coastline, someone smart will figure out how to deal with them
- Tom Tillis (NC) who actually laughed out loud when asked during a debate if climate change was fact, and then, of course, said no, it wasn’t
- James Lankford (OK), who has called global warming a myth, and voted to prevent the Pentagon from “considering the national security impacts of global warming”
- Shelley Moore Capito (WV), a founding member of the Congressional Coal Caucus, who said in a debate last month, “I don’t necessarily think the climate’s changing, no;” then she said, “Yes it’s changing; it changes all the time. We heard it raining out there.”
And what’s worse is that the new head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is likely going to be Republican James Inhofe who actually claimed that global warming could help people, the New Republic reported.
In 2003, Inhofe said in a speech,
“It’s also important to question whether global warming is even a problem for human existence. Thus far no one has seriously demonstrated any scientific proof that increased global temperatures would lead to the catastrophes predicted by alarmists. In fact, it appears that just the opposite is true: that increases in global temperatures may have a beneficial effect on how we live our lives.”
Inhofe, author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, also used the Bible to deny climate change in 2012.
“Genesis 8:22 [says] ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.’ My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”
If these are the people in charge of slowing climate change and fixing the environment, the earth is in for a world of hurt.