During her confirmation hearing last week, several Republican senators called on Congresswoman Deb Haaland to “follow science” if she is confirmed to run the Department of the Interior 

Many of these same senators are on the record denying well-established climate science and have voted for legislation that favors their Big Oil donors over protecting the environment from the effects of climate change

Accountable Senate War Room: “Calls from Senate Republicans to ‘follow science’ after years of pocketing millions of dollars from the oil and gas industry and denying the harmful effects of climate change would be laughable if they weren’t so hypocritical”

Washington, D.C. – Since the confirmation hearings for Congresswoman Deb Haaland for Interior secretary last week, many have noted the hypocrisy demonstrated by many Senate Republicans who used their time calling on Haaland to ‘follow science’ in her new role, a ridiculous request coming from fossil-fuel tied climate change deniers. Those who made these requests include key members of the Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee, including Senators Barrasso, Daines, Cassidy, Lee, Lankford, and Marshall. These very same senators are on the record denying the existence or severity of climate change and the role humans have played in speeding up its effects — well-established facts in the scientific community. Many of them have also accepted millions from the fossil fuel industry, making their concerns with Haaland’s confirmation that much more ridiculous.

“Calls from Senate Republicans to ‘follow science’ after years of pocketing millions of dollars from the oil and gas industry and denying the harmful effects of climate change would be laughable if they weren’t so hypocritical,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “I don’t remember these same members calling on David Bernhardt, a former oil lobbyist, or William Perry Pendley, a fellow climate denier, to ‘follow science’ during the Trump administration. Republican senators have spent years doing the bidding for their Big Oil special interests in Congress. Now, to hide the fact that they’re terrified of the new administration’s agenda that puts the American people and public lands first, they’re throwing baseless attacks at Haaland in the hopes that something will stick — a plan obviously bound to fail.”     

Read more about the senators who made Haaland a target throughout her confirmation hearings but who have denied the existence or effects of climate change: 

  • Business Insider – 3 Republican senators grilling Biden’s Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland deny climate science
    • “Three Republican senators grilling Interior Secretary nominee Rep. Deb Haaland this week have denied well-established climate science, even as they vigorously defend their party as pro-science. 
    • Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, and [Roger] Marshall of Kansas — who sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee — have made statements in recent years rejecting the scientific consensus that humans are a major contributor to climate change and global warming. But Republicans on the committee insist that their positions on energy and the environment are guided by science, and some even accused Democrats of ignoring science.
    • “Lee said in 2019 that the solution to climate change is “more babies” and “technological invention.”
    • In 2010, Lankford called global warming a “myth” and said it will eventually be “exposed” as “a way of control more than anything else.”
    • “In 2017, Marshall said, “I’m not sure that there is even climate change,” during an interview on Kansas radio. In a Wednesday statement to Insider, Marshall claimed that the climate is “always changing,” an implicit denial of human-caused global warming.”
  • HuffPost – GOP Science Deniers Lecture Interior Secretary Nominee Deb Haaland On Science
    • “In a stunning 2015 Senate vote, Barrasso, Daines and Cassidy joined most of their Republican colleagues in rejecting the idea that human activity is “a significant contributor” to climate change, a conclusion on which scientists overwhelmingly agree.”
    • “There’s plenty of other cases where these senators bucked science for political or self-serving reasons. Barrasso twice introduced legislation, in 2014 and 2015, aimed at restricting how the Environmental Protection Agency can use science, in an effort to benefit fossil fuel industries. Daines, who previously advocated teaching creationism in public schools, has repeatedly and falsely claimed that lawsuits from anti-logging environmental extremists are to blame for the uptick in wildfires, not climate change.”
    • “Perhaps the most glaring problem with GOP senators claiming to be the party of science is their years of silence under Trump. The former president routinely dismantled science-based health and safety protections, sidelined scientific evidence and rolled back progress on scientific integrity. The attacks were so prolific that the Union of Concerned Scientists has a searchable database of all the ways his administration tried to weaken science and public understanding.”
    • “It’s not actually science that these Republican senators are concerned about with Haaland’s nomination, though. It’s Biden’s interest in protecting public lands and investing in renewable energy sources versus their interest in allowing fossil fuel industries to expand drilling on public lands. These senators receive huge amounts of money from the oil and gas industry ― each have taken well over $1 million ― and it was clear from their questions to Haaland that that’s at the top of their minds.”
  • WaPo – Opinion: Why Senate Republicans fear Deb Haaland
    • “Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the senior Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, shouted over Haaland, accusing the congresswoman of wanting to legalize drugs to replace tax revenue from oil and gas. (Haaland backed legalizing and taxing cannabis as a congresswoman, but never advocated doing so instead of taxing fossil fuels.) Montana Sen. Steve Daines — who, like Barrasso, has received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies — demanded Haaland retract a tweet stating that “Republicans don’t believe in science.” (In 2019, Daines said, “To suggest that [climate change] is human-caused is not a sound scientific conclusion.”)
  • Independent: Deb Haaland’s confirmation hearing was embarrassing to watch
    • “The GOP members of the Senate Energy Committee showed little interest in the historic nature of appointing the first ever Native American cabinet secretary. Instead, they used the hearing as an opportunity to prove their loyalty to Big Oil.”
    • “She has pledged to be a “fierce advocate” for Native Americans, public lands and our climate. And she is now well-positioned to help the Biden administration “build back fossil free” and support the rights of Indigenous peoples who are fighting dangerous fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 and Dakota Access pipelines. That might be bad news for fossil fuel CEOs, but it’s great news for the rest of us.”
  • The Guardian – Republicans Criticizing Haaland’s Nomination Have Ties to Fossil Fuels 
    • “Barrasso, who has questioned whether humans contribute to the climate crisis, also complained about a tweet in which Haaland said Republicans don’t believe in science. What he didn’t say was that the oil and gas industry has bankrolled his political career and he is personally invested in a company that transports a sizable portion of US natural gas.”

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