January 9, 2017
To: U.S. Senator Michael Bennet
1127 Sherman St., Suite 150
Denver, CO 80203
U.S. Senator Cory Gardner
1125 17th Street, Suite 525
Denver, CO 80202
From: Colorado organizations, business and community leaders, and individuals
Re: Calling for rejection of Donald Trump’s proposed climate change denier cabinet members
Dear Senators Bennet and Gardner,
We, the undersigned Colorado organizational, business, community and faith leaders and residents call on you to reject incoming President Donald Trump’s proposed Cabinet, which includes several picks lacking adequate knowledge, experience, ethics, and respect for the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding the reality and seriousness of manmade climate change.
Colorado boasts some of the most prestigious scientific research organizations in the world, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Many of these highly respected scientists serve on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in its Fourth Assessment Report concluded that:
- “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change – cite_note-ar4_main_observations-55
- Most of the global average warming over the past 50 years is “very likely” (greater than 90% probability, based on expert judgement) due to human activities.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change – cite_note-ar4_main_observations-55
- “Impacts [of climate change] will very likely increase due to increased frequencies and intensities of some extreme weather events”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change – cite_note-ar4_projected_impacts-57
- “Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise would continue for centuries even if GHG emissions were to be reduced sufficiently for GHG concentrations to stabilise, due to the time scales associated with climate processes and feedbacks”.
- “Some planned adaptation (of human activities) is occurring now; more extensive adaptation is required to reduce vulnerability to climate change”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change – cite_note-ar4_policy_responses-58
- “Unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt”.
With over 97% of the world’s climate scientists in agreement that climate change is real and primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels, it would be irresponsible and unconscionable to allow Mr. Trump to appoint to his Cabinet individuals who deny the very existence of anthropogenic climate change. The vast majority of Coloradans agree with the accepted science and are very concerned about the impacts to themselves and future generations. Indeed, many Coloradans have now directly experienced the impacts of climate change via more extreme weather events – record-breaking floods, droughts, temperature extremes, the pine beetle epidemic, and wildfires. These impacts harm our safety, health, quality of life, tourism and skiing industry, farming and more.
We call on you, our elected representatives to the U.S. Senate, to block Mr. Trump’s Cabinet picks including:
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State nominee, spent his career at Exxon and has been CEO since 2006. Exxon has paid 40 organizations to create doubt about the settled science of climate change, using some of the same PR people the tobacco companies used. They are manipulating the media to convince the public that fossil fuels don’t hurt our environment. They’re lying.
Scott Pruitt, EPA head nominee, is a climate change denier who wants to abolish the EPA. There are real quality of life improvements that have come about from EPA regulations. Yet Pruitt has worked on behalf of the fossil fuel industry to gut environmental laws that protect our climate and public health. Pruitt has fought and sued the agency he’s being asked to run. He opposes the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon and has demonstrated an anti-environmental agenda throughout his career. As Attorney General, Pruitt has done nothing to protect the people of Oklahoma from the alarming influx of earthquakes caused by fracking and waste disposal in the state. His appointment would be disastrous for the environment and would have very real consequences on human health across the country.
Ryan Zinke, Department. of the Interior nominee, has a 3% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, saying he is a “climate denier who supports drilling in the Arctic and continuing outrageous subsidies for dirty energy development on public lands–positions that align with the oil and gas companies that have spent nearly $350,000 on his campaigns.”
Rick Perry, Department of Energy nominee, doesn’t accept the scientific consensus on the importance of reducing carbon emissions to slow the impact of human-induced climate change.  Also, he is on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has attracted global negative attention for its horrific abuses of Native Americans and allies attempting to protect their ancient burial grounds, unceded territory and drinking water for million of Americans.
These are radical appointments that will have a real impact on our environment, public health, and social justice. It is unacceptable for Senators to vote for such extremists. There is a very clear choice: stand with science or side with the fossil fuel industry. These appointees stand on the side of the fossil fuel industry instead of with our communities and climate. The vast majority of the public wants action to protect our climate and promote clean energy. These appointments will undo the progress our nation has made toward this goal.
This is an issue of utmost national importance. We request a statement from you regarding your position on these appointments as soon as possible. Thank you.
[signers on following pages]
Organizations, Businesses, and other Institutions:
350 Colorado – Micah Parkin, Executive Director, statewide
Aspire Biotech, Inc. – Dr. Ian N. Askill, President, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Be The Change-USA – Barbara Mills-Bria, President, Denver Metro area
C3 Boulder: Climate Culture Collaborative – Emma Ruffin, Chief Collaborator, 80303
Center for Biological Diversity – Taylor McKinnon, Salida, CO 81201
Clean Energy Action – Anne Butterfield, President of the Board, Boulder, CO 80304
Colorado People’s Alliance – Elizabeth Murphy, Community Organizer, Denver, CO 80211
First Strike Theatre – Mary Sprunger-Froese, director, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Earth Guardians – Tamara Roske, Executive Director, Boulder, CO 80304
Eco-Justice Ministries – Rev. Peter Sawtell, Executive Director, Denver, CO 80209
Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability – Rachel T. Emmer, MBA, Executive Director, Evergreen, CO 80437
Evolve to Love, LLC – Michael Anderson, Denver CO 80250
Food & Water Watch – Lauren Petrie, Rocky Mountain Region Director, Denver, CO 80218
Frack Files – Robert Winkler, Greeley, CO 80634
Frack Free Boulder – Neshama Abraham, Founder, Boulder, CO 80304
Frack Free Colorado – Suzanne Spiegel, Co-founder, Boulder, CO 80304
Fund for the Feminist Majority and former President of Boulder NOW – Sally Barrett-Page, Boulder CO
Great Old Broads for Wilderness – Shelley Silbert, Executive Director, Durango, CO 81302
Green Cities Coalition – Konrad Schlarbaum, Chairman, Colorado Springs, CO, 80904
Greenpeace – Diana Best, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner, Denver, CO 80203
Kids Against Fracking – Emma Bray, Founder, Denver, Colorado
Loretto Earth Network – Nancy Wittwer, Co-Coordinator, Littleton, CO 80123
Parker Payless Liquors – Patricia May, Vice President PPL Englewood, CO 80111
Perennial Permaculture – Nathan Parkin, Founder, Boulder, CO 80304
Qualtek Manufacturing Inc – Christopher Fagnant, President, Colorado Springs, CO 80109
Rise School of Denver – Katie Lange, Teaching Assistant, Parker, CO 80138
San Juan Citizens Alliance – Daniel Olson, Executive Director, Durango, CO 81301
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council – Christine Canaly, Director, Alamosa, CO 81101
Sheep Mountain Alliance – Karen Tuddenham, Executive Director, Telluride, CO 81435
Sisters of St. Francis Earthcare Committee – Margaret Elizabeth Fuhr, Sister, Denver, CO 80212
The Climate Mobilization – Denver Chapter – Harry Gregory, Climate Year Team, Centennial, CO 80015
United Nations Association – Boulder County – Robert McNown, President, Boulder, CO 80302
Wall of Women Colorado – Paddy McClelland, Manager, Denver, CO 80210
Weise Consulting – Leslie Weise, Principal, Monument, CO 80132
“What Can I Do?” Spaceship Earth – Laurie Dameron, Musician, Boulder, CO 80304
What the Frack?! Arapahoe – Sonia Skakich-Scrima, Founder, Aurora CO
WildEarth Guardians – Rebecca Sobel, Senior Campaigner, Denver, CO 80205
Working Families Initiative – Betty harris, Littleton, CO 80120
Yogarden Life – Claudia Kuhns, Citizen, Denver, CO 80210
350 Boulder – Elisabeth Gick, Team Co-Leader, Boulder, CO 80304
350 Central Colorado – Robert and Kay Parker, Team Co-Leaders, Coaldale, CO 81222
350 Colorado Springs – Amy Gray, Team Co-Leader, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
350 Denver – Kevin Nelson, Team Co-Leader, Denver, CO 80218
350 Fort Collins – Shelby Robinson, Team Leader, Fort Collins, CO 80521
350 S. Metro Denver – Betty Harris, Team Leader, Littleton, CO 80123
+ over 700 individual signers