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In Pompeo, Trump Taps First Known Climate Denier For Secretary of State

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(202) 667-6982
For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

WASHINGTON –  If CIA Director Mike Pompeo becomes the next Secretary of State, he will be the first known climate denier to serve as the nation’s chief diplomat. With Pompeo installed alongside Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, two admitted deniers of the overwhelming evidence of climate change will head agencies that play crucial roles in the domestic and global responses to the climate crisis, said Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook.

“The growing menace of climate change is a clear and present danger to national security, and to the health and safety of current and future generations of Americans,” said Cook. "The nation’s top diplomat should not be someone who refuses to acknowledge the climate crisis that threatens the entire planet.”  

Departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visibly disagreed with Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accords, which Pruitt backed. Meanwhile, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate intelligence committee, Pompeo refused to address questions on his views about climate change. But when Pompeo represented Kansas in the House, he repeatedly questioned climate science and the Obama administration’s policies to combat climate change, calling them “damaging” and “radical.”

Virtually all climate scientists agree that global warming is real and caused by human activities. But as The New Republic reported today, in a 2013 interview with C-SPAN, Pompeo said:

Look, I think the science needs to continue to develop. I’m happy to continue to look at it. There are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change. There’s some who think we’re warming, there’s some who think we’re cooling, there’s some who think that the last 16 years have shown a pretty stable climate environment.

According to the the Center for Responsive Politics, as a member of Congress, Pompeo was one of the largest recipients of campaign contributions from Koch Industries. In 2016 alone, his campaign took in more than $70,000 from the oil corporation controlled by David and Charles Koch, two of the most outspoken anti-climate advocates in the nation.

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Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com

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