Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Protesters urge Senators to reject Trump nominees to environment posts

Environmental activists march through Center City in protest of some of Donald Trump's cabinet picks.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Environmental activists march through Center City in protest of some of Donald Trump's cabinet picks.

Some 200 people gathered in center city Philadelphia on Monday to urge Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators to reject President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for key environmental positions in his new administration.

The demonstrators rallied in freezing weather outside Democratic Senator Bob Casey’s office before holding up traffic to march several blocks to the office of Republican Senator Pat Toomey.

The event was one of a series around the country on Monday in which environmental groups including the Sierra Club and 350.org urged lawmakers to vote against Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency; ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to become Secretary of State; former Texas Governor Rick Perry to run the Department of Energy, and Ryan Zinke, a Republican Senator from Montana, to lead the Interior Department.

Protesters, carrying signs such as “Stop the Climate Denier Cabinet”, and “Climate Change is Real”, said all the nominees are deniers of climate change, and would reverse efforts by the Obama administration to cut carbon emissions from sources such as power stations and private cars.

President-elect Trump has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

“They don’t accept that the vast majority of scientists believe that climate change is happening and it’s something we need to take action now,” said Sue Edwards, a member of the Pennsylvania Sierra Club. “And I think they’ll go in the opposite direction and foster more fossil fuel development.”

Environmental activists chant outside Sen. Pat Toomey's Philadelphia office in protest of some of Donald Trump's cabinet picks.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Environmental activists chant outside Sen. Pat Toomey's Philadelphia office in protest of some of Donald Trump's cabinet picks.

Casey, a supporter of efforts to slow climate change, issued a statement saying he has “serious concerns” with the nominations and that each nominee should be committed “to tackling the urgent issue of climate change.”

Steve Kelly, a spokesman for Toomey, was asked to respond to the protesters’ demands but said only that the Senator appreciates hearing from all Pennsylvanians.

“When considering any issue or measure before the Senate, Senator Toomey keeps the thoughts of all Pennsylvanians in mind,” Kelly said.

Sandy Folzer, a protester from the Chestnut Hill neighborhood in Philadelphia, said she wanted to urge the Republican-dominated Congress to at least scrutinize the nominees’ records rather than just rubber-stamping them.

“I’m afraid that Congress is saying ‘oh, we’ll just go ahead and accept them,’” Folzer said. “And I think it’s quite a danger to the country. I’m personally very afraid.”

Folzer said she fears Philadelphia will be subjected to the hotter weather and rising seas that have already affected low-lying areas such as South Florida and coastal Alaska because of rising global temperatures.

Comments

  • Radcliffe Paul

    I’m all for Trump’s cabinet choices. The time for action was last November. These little mobs are funny, like the cast of Hamilton, most did not even vote.

    • Meenal Raval

      you don’t know that this group of demonstrators didn’t vote.

      • Radcliffe Paul

        You’re truly correct, but odds are certainly in my favor.

        • Meenal Raval

          What makes you think so? I know most of them, and all very active and vote as often as possible.

  • 00TATEXAS

    Do these folks have jobs or anything else to do at all. You lost the election. Elections have consequences.

    • aiellokl

      Did you say that about the tea party protesters?

      • thomas zera

        I never saw a tea party riot.

  • thomas zera

    Finally,bad science from state employed alchemists? will be replaced by good science and common sense. Bring back king coal.

    • aiellokl

      And rising seas and black air! Yeah!

      • thomas zera

        Your science is false, contrived by fools.

        • petemx5

          Are you a scientist? Show me your data. Or are you just a denier because you’re afraid your stock investments will be adversely impacted? Why is this a political issue anyway?!

  • Wayne

    Trump has brought out the cockroaches. They no longer have to hide in the walls.

    • Wayne

      I think I should offer a clarification. When I referred to cockroaches coming out of the woodwork, I was not writing of the protesters, but rather, those who comment in support of Trump, such as Mr. Zera, Mr. Paul, Mr. Satchmo, Mr. 00ZATEXAS.

      • Radcliffe Paul

        You’re an expert on cockroaches, I get it.

  • Satchmo

    I can’t believe you people are being so damn childish. You lost the election, now grow up and accept it.

    • aiellokl

      You obviously don’t understand the democratic process. Democracy does not begin and end on election day.

      • thomas zera

        We lived under king obamas dictatorship for eight years.

        • aiellokl

          A king rules in a monarchy which we have not been a part of since the revolutionary war. A dictatorship is ruled by a military strongman who usually comes to power after a military backed coup. Obama is a civilian and was democratically elected.

          • thomas zera

            Then he should of acted like a president and not a king.

    • paulroden

      Just because Trump won the election doesn’t negate our First Amendment Rights under our Constitution. We have the right to “peacefully assembly and petition our government for redress of grievances.” As the first GOP President Abraham Lincoln once said: “to sin by silence makes cowards of men.” We will not be silent! We stand up to trumpism because it is wrong and evil. He is not a “conservative” he is a reactionary and regressive.

      • Satchmo

        1st Amendment Rights has nothing to do with this, Paul. You know as well as I do that the liberals are just poor losers. You bitch and moan because you crooked broad lost and you can’t get all the free stuff she promised. Like I said “grow the hell up” and quit whining.

        • paulroden

          You just don’t seem to understand what democracy and the First amendment mean. You and I may disagree, but is both of our rights to take to the streets to protest. This is what democracy looks like. Without mass movements, we would not have woman’s suffrage, civil rights, union rights, the eight hours day, occupational and environmental protection. Now Trumpism is trying to do away with all of that progress. That is not conservatism, that is regression and being reactionary. That is why we protest, and itis our right. You might not like it, but get used to it.

          • Satchmo

            I know exactly what democracy and the First Amendment mean and nowhere does it give you or any one else the right to sit there in judgement of Trump and say he is regressive and being reactionary. You have the audacity to accuse Trump when he hasn’t even been sworn in. Yet 8 years of Obamaism and you haven’t said one word about him. You, my friend, are nothing more than a hypocritical ass that expects everyone to agree with you just because it’s you. A typical liberal. You are a poor loser just like the rest of you whiners. And don’t bother replying to this because I am blocking you from my PC. Have a nice life.

        • petemx5

          Wait, I thought this was about climate change? And I ask again – why is this a political instead of an environmental issue?

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