yusef yusef, January 10, 2017

On Monday 140+ climate activists joined 350NM to call on Sen. Udall and Sen. Heinrich to vote “no” on Trump’s cabinet of climate change deniers. Staff from Sen Udall joined us to speak in support and we thank both of our good Senators! Thank-YOU to all who joined us in person or in spirit #DayAgainstDenial

Rallies also took place at U.S. Senators’ in-state offices nationwideAnd across the nation.

And from New Mexico Political Report – By Laura Paskus

Climate change protesters call out Trump’s cabinet picks

On Monday, climate change protesters in downtown Albuquerque spoke out against four of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks.

Rallying outside the offices of Democratic Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, protesters called on the two lawmakers to oppose the confirmations of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, former Governor of Texas Rick Perry as head of the Department of Energy and Montana congressman Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

Organized by 350.org, a nonprofit organization focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert the worst impacts of climate change, the rally in Albuquerque was related to national protests organized across the United States.

Udall’s State Director Greg Bloom delivered a message to the crowd from the senator.

Calling global warming “one of the greatest threats to public health, our environment, the economy and our national security,” Udall pointed out that New Mexico is right in the “bull’s eye.”

In the statement, Udall reiterated his support for the agreement countries hammered out in 2015 to cut emissions globally, as well as of the Clean Power Plan and new rules from the EPA and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to cut methane emissions from oil and gas drilling.

Udall also pointed out that the science on human-caused climate change is clear.

According to Udall’s statement, New Mexico’s priorities should include developing a statewide climate change action plan, cutting methane emissions in the Four Corners and increasing the use of renewable energy.

Leaders from 350.org, Food and Water Watch, the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and Power through Peace each spoke about the threats to natural resources and communities from climate change.

“Trump’s cabinet is going to be terrible and it needs to be opposed,” said Greg Mello, director of the Los Alamos Study Group, another speaker at the rally. “That’s a given.”

But Mello cautioned against framing climate change as a partisan issue.

“We have to be unafraid to step on toes, and that includes Democratic Party toes,” he said, adding later that people who are concerned about climate change “have to hold Democrats to something beyond the vague aspirational statements we get from them.”

And from 350.org

“Trump is trying to hand over senior federal positions directly to fossil fuel industry puppets and climate deniers, and we won’t let him get away with it,” said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. “These are radical nominations that should never be approved, and we’re seeing resistance nationwide with rallies planned in dozens of states so far. Our Senators have a critical decision to make: either stand with science and a livable planet for our communities, or side with the fossil fuel industry’s climate denial.”

All four cabinet nominees have ties to the fossil fuel industry and a history of climate denial. As CEO of Exxon, Tillerson led the company on a decades-long and ongoing campaign deceiving the public about the dangerous impacts of their fossil fuels on our climates and communities, while raking in outrageous profits. An investigation revealed that Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt allowed the fossil fuel industry to draft comment letters sent to the EPA on his own letterhead. Perry called climate change a “contrived phony mess” and was a director at Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline. Rep. Zinke back-peddled on his acknowledgement of climate change and equates “protection” for public lands with leasing them to the fossil fuel industry.

“With a cabinet full of science deniers and fossil fuel hacks poised to take over key watchdog agencies, Donald Trump is putting arsonists in charge of the fire department,” said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. “Large majorities of the American people want action to protect our climate, clean air and clean water. That’s why picking disastrous nominees like these further ensure Trump will enter office as the least popular President-elect in recent memory — and why grassroots action like this will only increase to ensure our Senators make the right decision and stand with our planet and our communities, and not big polluters.”

Monday’s rallies are being organized by local leaders across the country with support from 350.org, Greenpeace, CREDO Action, the Sierra Club, and many more. Over 60 events have been planned so far, with more being added everyday.

“Trump wants to put anti-science climate change deniers in charge of climate, energy and environmental policy in the United States,” said Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director at CREDO. “The stakes couldn’t be higher,” Nelson continued. “When the Senate votes on the confirmation of Trump’s climate denial cabinet, every U.S. Senator will be forced to choose between the fate of the planet and the profits of the fossil fuel industry,” Nelson added. “The American people will be watching.”

On Tuesday, 350.org organized a national call-in day to U.S. Senators on their first day of work in 2017, urging them to vote against all four nominees because climate denial has no place in the White House cabinet. Trump’s other nominees include racist Senator Jeff Sessions and anti-labor CEO Andy Puzder. On-going actions targeting cabinet appointees are planned throughout January.

“Trump’s nominees are science-denying corporate lackeys who have vowed to pick apart the critical protections their agencies oversee,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. “The American people see the elevation of Pruitt, Tillerson, Zinke, Perry, and Sessions for what it is: An attack on our collective well-being. Now is the time to strengthen our checks on the corporate takeover of our democracy and the climate — not erase them. Resisting these appointments is a message from the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for Trump to their Senators: If you don’t choose us over corporate interests, we’ll choose somebody else.”