More than 100 people of all ages gathered in a light snow in front of Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office in Minneapolis on Monday as part of a national day of denial. The rally called for Senator Klobuchar to vote against Donald Trump’s cabinet appointees who deny that climate change is real and man made.
The crowd chanted, “resist” after the speeches concluded.
A small delegation was admitted to the senator’s office to present their request to Klobuchar’s staff. Klobuchar’s State Director Ben Hill also met with the assembled crowd and asked to hear their opinions. Kevin Whelan, Executive director, MN 350 led the speakers and leveled specific charges agains the four targeted appointments.
This action was directed against four of Trump’s appointments, considered the most egregious, even though the groups have serious reservations about a number of other proposed appointments. The specific targets of Monday’s rally were:
• Rex Tillerson, Trump’s secretary of state nominee, is the CEO and chairman of ExxonMobil corporation. ExxonMobil is currently under investigation by several state attorneys general for lying and misleading investors and the public about the risks of climate change. Tillerson has personally been outspoken about his belief that scientists largely disagree about climate change and its connection to human action.
• Scott Pruitt, nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, is a renowned climate change denier with extremely close ties to oil, gas and fracking companies. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt fought for more fracking in his state. He is currently trying to sue the EPA to block the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.
• Rick Perry, nominee to lead the Department of Energy, is a prominent climate change denier. As governor of Texas, top officials under Perry reportedly censored references to climate change in an official state report on sea level rise. During his 2012 presidential campaign, Perry famously couldn’t remember what the Department of Energy was called when listing three federal agencies he’d eliminate as president.
• Ryan Zinke, nominee to lead the Department of Interior, has said climate change isn’t proven science, and believes that America’s “energy independence” is more important than combatting climate change.
A smaller group moved on to Senator Al Franken’s office with the same message.
The action was organized by nationally by 350 (350.org), and locally by MN350 (MN350.org) and TakeAction Minnesota.