For immediate publication: October 22, 2020
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America can't afford another climate denier in the Supreme Court, Barrett Backers will pay a price with the voters Washington, D.C. – Today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to promote the nomination of Supreme Court candidate and climate defender Amy Coney Barrett during a mock vote boycotted by the committee's Democratic members.
On Tuesday, Barrett quadrupled her climate denial in her written responses to "Questions for the Record," and again refused to answer questions about climate change and other major environmental issues, including landmark 5-4 Massachusetts v EPA, the Waters of the United States Rule, Auto Emissions, Coal Emissions, and the National Climate Assessment. She replied that climate change was a "political controversy" and that her views were "not relevant to my work as a judge".
These troubling responses follow last week's disqualifying responses to similar questions at her confirmation hearings in which she called climate change a "contentious issue" despite scientists and experts generally acknowledging that human action fuels the crisis. When asked by Senator Richard Blumenthal, Barrett replied that she had "no views that are adequately informed". Barrett later refused to agree, when questioned by Senator Kamala Harris, that climate change threatens clean air and water, and described climate change as too "controversial" and "controversial" to weigh up. "I'm not a scientist" and similar refrains repeated by Barrett are long-standing diversionary tactics Republicans use to evade questions about climate change and their anti-scientific record.
"The Republican senators who voted today to move Barrett forward will find that voters will hold them accountable for bringing a climate denier to the Supreme Court," he said Managing Director of Climate Power 2020 Lori Lodes. “This bogus trial was an affront to voters, who deserve a vote when it comes to the future of the Supreme Court and climate action. The last thing our country can afford is a climate denier who will use her lifelong seat on the Supreme Court to block climate action and push back our environmental laws for decades to come. Make no mistake, this illegitimate push to install Barrett will only stimulate tens of millions of Americans who are already rushing to the polls to vote for the climate. "
In addition to her utter denial of the climate and a refusal to answer key questions on major climate and environmental issues, Barrett refused to back out of cases involving Shell Oil and the American Petroleum Institute (API) involving her father has worked in management positions for decades. API is Big Oil's lobby shop in Washington and is expected to spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat clean energy and climate legislation under a Biden administration. Pollution groups like API regularly challenge clean air and water regulations and it is very likely that Barrett could be a key voice in these cases.
Barrett's denial of the climate is politically detrimental to a number of Republican senators who are running for re-election in November. Sens. Lindsey Graham, Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, and John Cornyn – all members of the Judiciary Committee – must hold voters accountable for their decision to raise a climate denier, even though voters in their respective states are increasingly advocating climate action.
Sens. Cory Gardner, Martha McSally, Susan Collins and Kelly Loeffler stand behind their challenges and were heavily criticized during the election. Barrett's decision to reject climate change several times during the hearing will force these senators to further justify their support for their nomination to their climate-conscious voters.