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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to Today’s ‘Day of Denial’ Protests by Radical Environmental Groups

January 9, 2017

"Few people are better suited to undertake the radical reforms necessary to bring the federal regulatory behemoth to heel." - H. Sterling Burnett


A coalition of radical environmentalist groups, including and the Sierra Club, has organized protests today at the local offices of U.S. senators in several states to protest President-elect Donald Trump’s appointments of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Rick Perry as Energy Secretary, Rep. Ryan Zinke as Secretary of Interior, and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

The following statements from environment policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Deputy Director of Communications Keely Drukala at and 312/377-4000.

“I can certainly understand why anti-capitalist activists would oppose Pruitt at EPA, Perry at Energy, and Zinke at Interior as they are all intent on using real science in moving these issues forward. Zinke will ensure we properly manage our lands to benefit the nation. Perry will manage our energy to make us independent of those who hate us. Pruitt will manage the environment to protect it without destroying the economy.

“I do not understand, however, why they would oppose Tillerson, who believes in man-caused global warming and supports the Paris Climate Agreement. I hope he is Trump’s sacrificial goat to the Senate committees that will be questioning his appointees.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute

“Ryan Zinke, Rick Perry, and Scott Pruitt have long experience dealing with federal agency overreach – battling policies that violate constitutional limits and laws duly enacted by Congress, and result in economic and often environmental harm. They understand the nation’s national and economic security requires continued access to and use of safe, affordable, abundant, and reliable fossil fuels. They also know that climate disaster claims made by radical environmental misanthropes and their allies with the Obama administration are overblown. Few people are better suited to undertake the radical reforms necessary to bring the federal regulatory behemoth to heel – ensuring future environmental regulations are based on sound science, sanctioned in law, minimize any harmful economic impacts, and place the needs of the average person above the desires of politically connected environmental insiders.

“Rex Tillerson, on the other hand, holds positions on climate change and the Paris Climate Agreement that are troubling and out of step with the rest of Trump’s appointments. Thus, it is with some humor I see environmental groups fighting his appointment as Secretary of State. This shows green radicals are less concerned about protecting the world from purported human-caused climate change than they are about fighting Trump at every turn.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

“The rhetoric and tactics used by are unfortunate and saddening. The founder of this group, Bill McKibben, is no stranger to misleading the public on a variety of energy and environmental issues, such as hydraulic fracturing. The fact of the matter is, Germany has aggressively pursued renewable energy targets and they have nothing to show for it. Over the past several years German electricity prices have skyrocketed. They are now more than three times the rates in the United States, and their carbon dioxide emissions have increased during this time.

“In contrast, cheap natural gas has allowed the U.S. to cut carbon dioxide emissions more than any other country in the world since 2005. With their opposition to nuclear power – the lowest-cost form of near-zero carbon dioxide emission energy – solidifies its place in the realm of unserious advocacy groups.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
312/377-4000 is doing yeoman’s labor to prove Paul Johnson’s line that radical environmentalism is nothing more than ‘emotionalism masquerading as science.’ Frankly, I’m happy these radicals waste their time and money on playacting episodes such as these instead of actually working. Having a sit-in and serenading to the congregation is a much less dangerous way to spend their time than pushing their anti-human, anti-civilizational message in ways that may actually be destructive.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

“The only ‘denial’ going on is that by the global warming extremists who are in denial about Donald Trump winning the election and the American people rejecting climate alarmism. If and its allies wish to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, they should reverse their dogmatic opposition to all energy sources except wind and solar power. Natural gas, nuclear, and hydro power all dramatically reduce or eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in an economically sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. If global warming truly is the greatest threat facing the planet, will enthusiastically support immediate action to remove government obstacles to these energy sources.”

James Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute

“The only denial going on is in not trying to understand or even listen to the good technical reasons to question the politically rooted and fatally defective received wisdom about science and climate.”

Christopher Essex
Professor, Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Western Ontario

“An upheaval in climate and energy regulation is upon us. The succession of the Trump administration and the appointment of Rex Tillerson, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, and Ryan Zinke to prominent federal positions marks the beginning of a return to sensible energy and environmental policy, a change that is long overdue.”

Steve Goreham
Executive Director
Climate Science Coalition of America
Policy Advisor, Environment and Energy
The Heartland Institute

“The time to argue has passed, and no amount of shouting will change anything. Protesting before Trump’s cabinet choices even take the oath of office lays bare the absolute disdain our nation’s tax-subsidized gripers reserve for the democratic process when it doesn’t go their way – to say nothing of the scorn they hold against America itself. The days leading up to January 20 should be a time for the supporters of soon-to-be ex-President Obama to reflect on the power of democracy at work in this great republic, not for pretending we didn’t just have an election.”

Mischa Popoff
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute

Jay Lehr is an internationally renowned speaker, scientist, Senior Policy Advisor with the International Climate Science Coalition and Senior Science Analyst at CFACT.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Isaac Orr is a policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment on mining and energy issues and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute. @thefrackingguy
Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department. @HeartlandGR
James Taylor is president of The Heartland Institute.
Steve Goreham, a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, is a speaker, author, and researcher on environmental issues as well as an engineer and business executive.
Mischa Popoff is the author of the critically-acclaimed book, Is it Organic? He earned a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan where he specialized in the history of nitrogen for fertilizer and warfare.

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