A new report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has revealed that 180 climate-denying members of Congress have received more than $80 million from the fossil fuel industry.
The 142 representatives and 38 senators that make up the list have received a total of $82,882,725 from the coal, oil and gas industries. This amount is over $2 million more than the last time the report was conducted, last year.
The analysis includes new representatives and senators that were added to the Climate Denier Caucus as well as gaps left by previous members of Congress that were identified as climate deniers but have now been appointed to senior positions in the Trump administration.
Since last year’s report seven former climate-denying Congress members have moved to senior level positions in the Trump administration, six more House members have revealed themselves to be climate deniers, and 15 freshman House members and two new senators are members of this Climate Denier Caucus. Three seats that were previously occupied by climate-deniers are currently vacant.
Lawmakers were classified as a denier if they:
- Have questioned or denied the scientific consensus behind human-caused climate change.
- Answered climate questions with the “I’m not a scientist” dodge.
- Claimed the climate is always changing (as a way to dodge the implications of human-caused warming).
- Failed to acknowledge that climate change is a serious threat.
- Questioned the extent to which human beings contribute to global climate change.
The top climate deniers in Congress were the following:
John McCain (R)
“For years during the Bush presidency, Sen. John McCain argued that global warming pollution was an existential threat that required a strict cap-and-trade carbon market. Now that Obama is president and climate policy is a real possibility, McCain sounds and acts like a climate science denier: ‘I do not support the cap-and-trade energy reform legislation under consideration in Congress. There are dramatic environmental changes happening in the arctic region – whether one believes they are man-made or natural.’ McCain now opposes the cap-and-trade policy he once championed, and opposes the EPA finding that greenhouse gasses are pollution.” ThinkProgress, 9/13/10
Mitch McConnell (R)
“For everybody who thinks it’s warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t.” More recently, when asked whether he agreed that human activity was driving climate change, McConnell responded, “I’m not a scientist.” Cincinnati Inquirer, 3/7/14 ||| ThinkProgress, 10/3/14
John Cornyn (R)
Sen. Cornyn tweeted “Global Warming?” linking to an article about snow falling in the Sahara desert for the first time in 37 years. Previously, Cornyn admitted that the climate is changing, but he disputes the extent to which humans contribute to it. Twitter, 12/21/2016 ||| Cornyn, 12/16/09 ||| National Review, 7/20/15
Ted Cruz (R)
“The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened … You know, back in the ’70s – I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.” Sen. Cruz has continued to raise doubts about climate satellite data, and he held a Senate hearing titled “Data or Dogma: Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.” New Republic, 11/6/14 ||| Washington Post, 1/29/16
Joe Barton (R)
“I don’t deny that the climate is changing. I think you can have an honest difference of opinion on what’s causing that change without automatically being either all-in that it’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural. I think there’s a divergence of evidence … I would point out if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change. And that certainly wasn’t because mankind overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.” Raw Story, 4/10/13
And let’s not forget our Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump, the most famous climate change denier of them all who received $1,132,996 in dirty money.
The report also includes data on the number of natural disasters declared in each state over the years 2011-2016. This is to highlight the current future threats posed by denying human-caused climate change.
This news comes just after last year marked the third consecutive year to earn the title of hottest year on record. It also comes just one week after it was noted that the earth reached record levels of carbon dioxide.