Congressional Republicans are refusing to hold Donald J. Trump and his cronies accountable for the greatest scandal of all: climate change denial.
Just imagine how Republicans would act if we had a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that claimed ISIS was no threat to the United States and refused to take any action against it. How would the GOP respond if that Chairman began telling the media that ISIS did not exist and Americans should not worry about it? What would Republicans do if this imaginary chairman kept making such absurd claims even as ISIS terrorists were murdering innocent Americans in the streets?
Republicans would be demanding that general or admiral be drummed out of the service and possibly court martialed. Disturbingly those Republicans are tolerating an outrage just as great or greater by allowing Scott Pruitt to serve as Director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Scott Pruitt Needs to Held Accountable
Pruitt is a notorious climate change denier, whose claims about global warming are constantly being refuted by scientists. Indeed a very good case can be made the Pruitt lied to the U.S. Senate during his confirmation testimony. A study by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, MIT and the University of Washington (Seattle) directly refuted at least one of Pruitt’s claims, The Washington Post reported.
If these claims are true Pruitt may have lied to Congress which is perjury; a felony that can carry a sentence of up to five years in a federal prison, according to the Find Law Blotter. Section 1001, Title 18 of the United States Code states that a person who makes a material statement that is false or fraudulent to federal officials is guilty of a crime.
If he is convicted of or pleads guilty to perjury Pruitt can also be stripped of his bar license. Disturbingly lying to Congress is not the only unethical behavior Pruitt is accused of.
The Oklahoma Bar Association is investigating Pruitt for using a private email account to conduct official business in his former job as Oklahoma’s Attorney General, The Hill reported. This is the same unethical behavior that Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for; yet he appointed a person accused of it to one of the most vital jobs in the nation.
Climate Change is Killing People, Trump and Pruitt Must be Held Accountable
News reports indicate that Global Warming is killing more people than ISIS and the president and his EPA Director are denying it. On June 17 and 18, up to 72 people might have been killed in wildfires in Portugal; at least 31 of them may have been burned alive in their cars trying to escape.
Those fires were caused by climate change Thomas Curt, a researcher at France’s Irstea research institute told Phys.org. Portugal is experiencing a hotter and drier June than normal which makes fires more likely, Curt explained.
"Hotter air is synonymous with drier and more inflammable vegetation," said Curt. "The more the mercury climbs, so does the risk of fires and their intensity."
An article in the journal WIRE’s Climate Change predicted that there will be heatwaves and a substantial increase in fire risk and the length of the fire season. This will result in “megafires;” some of which will occur in the United States and kill Americans.
Disturbingly one such fire forced the evacuation of 750 people in Utah on June 18, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Fires were also burning near Los Angeles, the nation’s second most populous city on June 20.
Democrats can Hold Trump and Pruitt Accountable
There is only one way to hold Trump and Pruitt accountable for their climate change lies and dereliction of duty: elect a Democratic majority to congress.
Democrats are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, generating 50% of America’s electricity with clean energy by 2027 and honoring President Obama’s Paris Agreement. A Democrat Senate would have the power to overturn Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement and reverse all of Pruitt’s actions as EPA director.
More importantly a Democrat Congress would have the power to investigate Scott Pruitt and his ties to the fossil fuels industry. It would even be able to remove Pruitt and his henchmen from the EPA.
Electing Democrats like Austin Songer to Congress is more important than ever. Career Republican politicians like Peter Roskam will never hold Trump or Pruitt accountable for their climate change denial. It is time Congress started addressing the greatest threat to America’s future global warming and holding those who deny it accountable for their dereliction of duty.