December 20, 2016

Backed by mass opposition to Trump’s ‘Climate Denial Cabinet,’ groups hold climate teach-in

Climate Teach-In

Washington, DC — Today, 50 people protested outside President-elect Trump transition office, expressing mass opposition to cabinet appointments such as climate denier Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator and ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. In opposition of Trump’s Climate Denial Cabinet, participants held a climate teach-in outside the Trump transition office to provide his administration with a much-needed lesson in climate science.

In the new year, activities will ramp up with a national day of action opposing the Climate Denial Cabinet targeting Senate offices across the country on January 9. Today’s action helped lay the groundwork for not only lobby visits, but also sit-ins, protests, and creative actions targeting key Senators who claim they recognize the threat of climate change, but haven’t yet come out against Pruitt, Tillerson, and other deniers in the cabinet.

Groups shined a strong spotlight on Scott Pruitt, a climate denier set to head the EPA, as well as on ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who Trump has tapped as Secretary of State. Exxon knew everything there was to know about climate change as far back as the 1970s, yet chose to embark on a decades-long ongoing campaign of deception. Groups noted that since Tillerson has only worked at ExxonMobil, it is impossible to separate him from the deception of the corporation. In conjunction with Tillerson’s Senate hearing, groups will organize actions to shed light on on Exxon’s track record.

Win or lose nomination fights, groups recognize the months ahead as only the first round in ongoing opposition to Trump’s climate denial and hate-fueled rhetoric. With a network of activists in all 50 states, a student network spanning hundreds of campuses, and a track record of bold actions and mass mobilizations, the movement is ready for a fight.


Jenny Marienau, US Campaigns Director,, said:

Today is just the beginning. People are horrified by Trump’s Climate Denial Cabinet, and we’re channelling that outrage into action. Trump has made it clear that he will continue to prioritize greed and profit at the expense of our communities and a livable planet. We can’t put the EPA in the hands of a climate denier, just as much as we can’t hand over our international climate diplomacy to the head of the world’s largest and most deceitful oil company. We’re offering a very clear choice: stand with the people and science, or side with the fossil fuel industry.”

Maura Cowley, ‎International Climate and Energy Campaign Director, Sierra Club, said:

“Trump’s cabinet is a who’s who of climate-deniers and fossil fuel hacks, poisoned with anti-environmental records and failures to protect families that cannot be replicated for the next four years. Senators must stand up for clean air, clean water, and climate justice and reject these appointments.”

David Turnbull, Campaigns Director, Oil Change International said:

“We’ve been campaigning for a separation of oil and state for years, but never has it been more literal than with the Trump cabinet. Trump’s cabinet of deniers is an affront to the American people and would endanger our climate and communities if allowed to go forward. Today’s action is just the beginning of what will be four years of a growing movement standing up to climate deniers doing the industry’s dirty work. We demand a separation of oil and state.”

Brant Olson, Executive Director,, said:

“Donald Trump may say he’s looking to ‘drain the swamp,’ but instead he’s doing the opposite, and creating a giant oil slick in its already muddied waters. Trump’s cabinet nominees represent a direct assault on the health and welfare of everyday Americans. In the midst of a climate crisis, we need decision makers that acknowledge that climate change is a real and urgent threat.

lex Vanderweele Ortman, Civic Action, said:

“The majority of the American people are concerned about the effects of global warming. The president-elect’s attempt to fill his cabinet with climate deniers, the current CEO of ExxonMobil who has profited from climate denialism, and anti-science ideologues underscores yet again that Donald Trump has no popular mandate. Instead, he is defying the people and doubling down on a corrupt approach to government in which big corporations get what they want and the public bears the costs.”

Marissa Knodel, Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth, said:

“While Donald Trump fills his Cabinet with drilling and fracking enthusiasts, he will have to contend with an even more powerful form of energy. Activists across this country are joining hands to defend our public lands, air and waters from Trump’s climate denying agenda.”


Additional photos, credited to Adam Smith, 350 DC:

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