Pence Is A Climate Change Denier
When Mike Pence arrived in Congress in 2001, there was little mystery surrounding his thoughts on climate change. “Global warming is a myth,” his website said flatly. Over the years, the Vice President has evolved little on the issue. In 2009, he said “the science is very mixed,” in 2014 he said it’s not a “resolved issue,” and in 2017, he suggested that the global catastrophe projected to kill 250,000 people a year by 2030 is just an issue for “the left.”
Pence will destroy the environment for the benefit of the fossil fuel industries
Pence’s words are not unique. The GOP’s cult of climate denialism has many members. But over the years, as a congressman, governor and now Vice President, Pence has been in a position to turn his anti-science ideology into policy. In Washington, that meant voting at an astounding rate against policies to restrict polluters and promote clean energy. All told, he voted for environmentally-friendly positions just four percent of the time, according to the League of Conservation Voters, consistently siding instead with Big Oil and King Coal and against the interests of the American people.
Pence sued the Obama administration for plans to require lower emissions from power plants
When Pence became governor of Indiana, his assault on the environment began in earnest. At every turn, he went out of his way to support industries that hurt the environment, publicly supporting the Keystone XL pipeline despite it not passing anywhere near his state and begging his former colleagues in Congress to defund President Obama’s carbon dioxide controls. When that effort appeared lost, Pence declared his intention to ignore the Clean Power Plan, which called for power plants to lower emissions. When Obama announced it anyway, Pence sued.
Pence’s anti-environment efforts weren’t always so partisan. In 2014, he ended an energy efficiency program put in place by his Republican predecessor. A year after Energizing Indiana was shuttered, an independent report showed that it had led to the creation of nearly 19,000 jobs and saved 11 million megawatt hours.
Pence supports an EPA administrator hellbent on destroying the EPA
In January, Pence brought his aversion to clean air and infatuation with dirty industry to the White House, where he teamed up with two like-minded men. President Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt have already proven to be a destructive force. Trump has raved about “beautiful, clean coal,” a misnomer if there ever was one, signed a sweeping executive order meant to undo Obama’s climate legacy and, most notably, pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, a pact between 196 nations to combat climate change.
Pruitt, meanwhile, has quietly wrecked havoc on the EPA, an agency he warred with as Oklahoma’s attorney general. The self-described “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda” has reversed a range of rules aimed at cleaning up power plant emissions, reducing methane gas leaks and preventing chemical explosions.
He’s also done untold damage to the culture of the agency, preferring to consultwith industry insiders over government scientists and slashing the agency’s budget and staff so much that even Republicans are concerned.
Not all of them though. There’s little doubt that Trump, who once said the EPA should be eliminated, and Pence support the destruction Pruitt is wwreaking on the natural world.