We here at Preserve the Beartooth Front are pleased to announce the latest recipient of the Rex Tillerson Fracking Hypocrite Award. The Award is a 160-foot water tower, engraved with Rex Tillerson’s photo, delivered to the recipient’s front yard.
We’ve written often about Rex. He’s the CEO of ExxonMobil who publicly complained that “dysfunctional regulation of hydraulic fracturing is holding back the American economic recovery, growth and global competitiveness,” and then joined with his neighbors in a lawsuit to block construction of a large water tower, to be used to support fracking operations, next to his Texas home.
Our first winner was Aubrey McClendon, the ethically challenged former-Chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Oil, who actually stole from farmers to finance capital acquisitions. McClendon later shared the next award with Jeff Wojahn, CEO of Encana Oil and Gas, for a scheme to collude to drive down the price of oil leases in Michigan.
According to Physics World, a new study shows that increased solar activity has nothing to do with global warning:
A recalibration of data describing the number of sunspots…on the surface of the Sun shows that there is no significant long-term trend in solar activity since 1700, contrary to what was previously thought. Indeed, the corrected numbers now point towards a consistent history of solar activity over the past few centuries, according to an international team of researchers. Its results suggest that rising global temperatures since the industrial revolution cannot be attributed to increased solar activity.
This should be important to Senator Steve Daines, Montana’s highest ranking global warming denier and winner of today’s Rex Tillerson Fracking Hypocrite Award.
You see, Senator Daines was thinking maybe warming was caused by the sun. He says in a letter to a Montana voter, “As you may know, there is considerable debate as to whether human activities significantly contribute to climate change. While some believe increased levels of CO2 from human activities in our atmosphere are a major factor in planetary warming trends, others observe that there may be other factors. Some note that increases in solar activity have contributed to our global warming trend. (Click above to read full letter.)
I’ve sent the Physics World article off to Senator Daines. Maybe now he can come to terms with the human causes of climate change, and get to work passing legislation that will reduce carbon emissions and help transition our economy to renewable energy.
Unless of course Senator Daines’ confusion about the causes of climate change has less to do with the science and more to do with the fact that, according to OpenSecrets.org, of the 435 members of the House of Representatives, now-Senator Daines ranked sixth in amount of contributions received from the oil and gas industry in the 2014 election cycle.
Come on, Senator Daines. Fess up. It’s not really about the science. It’s about the money, isn’t it?
Senator Daines’ hypocrisy is out of step with the vast majority of Americans. According to a Reuters poll taken earlier this year, 66% of Americans said that our leaders are morally obligated to take action to reduce CO2 emissions. And 72% said they were “personally morally obligated” to do what they can in their daily lives to reduce emissions.
“When climate change is viewed through a moral lens it has broader appeal,” said Eric Sapp, executive director of the American Values Network, a grassroots organization that mobilizes faith-based communities on politics and policy issues. “This makes it more about us, our neighbors and about doing the right change.”
Which makes it all the more galling that Senator Daines uses his personal morality to disguise the reasons for his climate change denial. When Senator Daines denies that climate change exists, and says he doesn’t know if man or solar activity is responsible, he’s abdicating his moral responsibility for leadership.
There’s plenty of room for political debate about which course of action is best to address climate change, and most in the public would welcome a real exchange between Democrats and Republicans on how we can reduce carbon emissions in a way that will improve our economy and protect the planet.
There’s too much at stake for this kind of hypocrisy. Senator Daines, please let us know where you’d like us to deliver your award.