Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse were visited at their downtown Providence offices Monday afternoon by constituents opposed to President-elect Donald Trump‘s cabinet picks because of their climate change denial positions. The visits were part of a national “Day Against Denial” organized locally by Fossil Free RI and nationally by 350.org, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Credo, and other organizations. Senator’s offices were expected to be visited in all 50 states.
Over thirty people visited Jack Reed’s office, where Timmons Roberts, Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University and Steven Schimmel, formerly of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spoke about the importance of confronting climate change. Specifically, the event called out Trump’s nomination of Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, for Secretary of State, Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator, Ex-Gov. Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy and Rep. Ryan Zinke for Department of Interior.
“Trump’s nominations are out of touch with the mainstream of the United States,” said Roberts, “I’ve been studying climate change for 25 years. The evidence just gets stronger and worse.”
Steven Schimmel was an EPA employee for over 30 years. “We’ve got a Congress that is not going to be all that supportive of what we are trying to do,” said Schimmel, “but there’s still hope, and there’s public pressure.”
At Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office, people spoke with George Carvalho, state director of Whitehouse’s Providence office. Carvalho assured the people present that Whitehouse was doing all he can to properly vet Trump’s nominations.