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Citing His Refusal to Face 'Most Pressing Issue of Our Time,' 200+ Green Groups Urge Senate to Reject Climate-Denying Pompeo

"The Koch Brothers have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into highly improper and unethical climate denial efforts over the past twenty years—and paying off elected officials like Mike Pompeo."

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has dismissed the notion, promoted by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, that the climate crisis represents one of the gravest national security threats facing the U.S. today. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Hundreds of environmental and climate action groups on Tuesday became the latest organizations to speak out forcefully against CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination to lead the State Department—warning that his anti-science positions are inexcusable given the perilous dangers presented by global warming and the planetary climate crisis.

Greenpeace, 350.org, and Food & Water Watch were among more than 200 groups that demanded senators reject Pompeo's nomination after his confirmation hearing, which begins Thursday, on the grounds of his climate denialism and allegiance to the fossil fuel industry.

"At a time when our planet is rapidly warming and millions are being impacted by climate change, supercharged hurricanes, fires, drought, mudslides, and more, the last thing we need is another climate denier in the White House administration; his nomination must be rejected," wrote the groups in a letter (pdf) to the U.S. Senate. "Any senator who votes in support of his nomination to the important position of Secretary of State is complicit in advancing the Trump/Pompeo pro-fossil fuel, anti-climate agenda."

The letter followed two other pleas from human rights and anti-war groups, which voiced concerns over a multitude of Pompeo's policy positions, including his support for torture, tendency toward military force, and opposition to reproductive rights.

"Any senator who votes in support of his nomination to the important position of Secretary of State is complicit in advancing the Trump/Pompeo pro-fossil fuel, anti-climate agenda."—Green Groups

Pompeo called the Paris climate agreement a "costly burden" to the United States before President Donald Trump moved to withdraw from the accord, and claimed in a 2013 interview that "there are scientists who think lots of different things about climate change"—denying the consensus among 97 percent of climate scientists that human activity is contributing to the climate crisis.

When representing Kansas's Fourth District in the House of Representatives, Pompeo was also one of the top recipients of donations from the fossil fuel industry, taking nearly $1.2 million from oil and gas companies.

The contributions included $375,000 from Koch Industries, the multinational corporation which has pushed for environmental deregulation. His cozy relationship with Charles and David Koch earned him the nickname, the "Koch Brothers' Congressman," noted the green groups in their letter.

"The Koch Brothers have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into highly improper and unethical climate denial efforts over the past twenty years, including funding junk science and fake propaganda campaigns—and paying off elected officials like Mike Pompeo," wrote the groups. "The Secretary of State is responsible for representing the United States abroad and negotiating our position on international issues. Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time; indeed, many of our past and remaining responsible national security experts consider climate change to be a major threat to this country’s national security and safety. We cannot afford to have a pro-fossil fuel climate denier in that position."

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