Schumer Announces Dems Will Introduce Legislation to Defund Trump Admin's Fake Climate Panel And Challenges GOP to Admit Climate Change is a Real, Manmade Threat That Requires Immediate Action

February 26, 2019

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke on the Senate floor regarding climate change –a real, manmade threat that requires immediate action. Below are his remarks, which can also be viewed here:

On climate change. For decades, we’ve known that climate change is not only a major national challenge, but an existential threat to our planet, to our future. Despite the gravity and scale of this challenge, one political party in the United States has largely denied the problem even exists, denied the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community, and denied most attempts in Congress to tackle climate change.

President Trump’s record on climate change is one of abject failure: denying the science, systematically rolling back environmental protections that reduce carbon emissions, and announcing withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords -- ostrich-like, if there ever was actions that can be described that way.

But recently we heard of a new effort from the Trump Administration to push back against efforts to address climate change.

You see, it was probably embarrassing to President Trump when his own administration released the National Climate Assessment last year, as required by law, which outlined the severe and immediate impacts of climate change.

So according to reports, the White House now has plans to set up a fake panel of cherry-picked scientists who question the severity of climate change in order to “counter” the scientific consensus on this terribly urgent problem, even within the administration. This new fake panel will reportedly be set up under the National Security Council, not the EPA or NOAA or any of the federal agencies where the real climate scientists still work.

This is maybe the most conspicuous symptom of the disease of climate denialism that has infected the Republican Party and the hard right. This is beyond willful ignorance. This is the intentional, deliberate sowing of disinformation about climate science -- by our own government.

This cannot stand. So this morning I’m announcing that if the Trump Administration moves forward with this fake climate panel, we will be introducing legislation to defund it. I will be doing it along with several of my colleagues

It is long past time for President Trump and Republican leaders to admit that climate change is real, human activity contributes to it, and Congress must take action to counter it. So far, Leader McConnell and Republicans: when we ask them do you believe climate change is real? Silence. Do you believe humans cause it? Silence. Do you believe Congress has to act, to deal with it? Silence. That will not stand and they will not be able to maintain that position over a period of time. 

###