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USA Congress and Senate to be dominated by Anti-Science Climate Denialists

Flag-USAThe Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 114th Congress Edition, Climate Progress BY TIFFANY GERMAIN – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR, KRISTEN ELLINGBOE – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR, KILEY KROH JANUARY 8, 2015 THIS WEEK CONGRESS RETURNS TO THE NATION’S CAPITAL WITH 71 NEW MEMBERS IN ITS RANKS. THOSE ADDITIONS WILL BRING LITTLE IMPROVEMENT IN THE VIEWS OF CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS REGARDING THE SCIENTIFIC REALITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE, HOWEVER. OVER 56 PERCENT OF REPUBLICANS IN THE 114TH CONGRESS DENY OR QUESTION THE SCIENCE BEHIND HUMAN-CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE, ACCORDING TO AN ANALYSIS BY CAP ACTION.

On the heels of what looks to be the warmest year in recorded history, with the global carbon dioxide levels that drive climate change reaching unprecedented levels, 53 percent — 131 members — of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives deny the occurrence of human-caused global warming and 72 percent — 39 members — on the Senate side sing the same tune.

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While 97 percent of climate scientists are in agreement that climate change is occurring and is driven by human activity, several new members of the 114th Congress assert the opposite. Just this week, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) rejected the premise that greenhouse gas emissions are driving climate change, remarking instead that “political correctness took over climate science,” E&E Daily reported Thursday……..

One of the loudest congressional climate deniers is Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) — the likely new chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee — who was swiftly repudiated in a hearing last year for claiming the earth had experienced “no warming for the last 15 years.” In addition to Inhofe, 10 out of 11, or 91 percent, of Republicans on EPW have said climate change is not happening or that humans do not cause it.

The members of the 114th Congress who have publicly misrepresented the science behind global warming have accepted their fair share of contributions from the fossil fuel industry. The 39 climate deniers in the Senate have taken $28,152,466 in donations from the coal, oil and gas industries, while the 61 Senators who haven’t denied the science have taken $11,033,447 in career contributions, according to the CAP Action analysis. On average, Senate deniers took $721,858 from fossil fuel interests while other Senators took $180,876.

On the House side, the 131 climate science deniers have taken $35,702,245 in fossil fuel industry contributions while the remaining voting members who haven’t denied the science have only taken $24,268,787 in career contributions. On average, House deniers took $272,536 from coal, oil and gas interests while other members took $80,095.

Looking ahead, the new Republican-controlled Congress has been clear that it has no intention of prioritizing action to help combat climate change. In fact, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to curb carbon pollution from power plants andapprove the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Tiffany Germain is Research Manager and Kristen Ellingboe is Research Associate for CAP Action. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/08/3608427/climate-denier-caucus-114th-congress/

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January 10, 2015 - Posted by | climate change, politics, USA

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