Another presidential nominee may have trouble getting confirmed, this time for believing science that shows a connection between climate change and extreme weather.
At a confirmation hearing for Janet McCabe, President Obama’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency's Air and Radiation office, Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions said he could not support her because of her views on climate change.
“[I]f you continue to insist that we’ve had more hurricanes in the last century and that they’ve increased as a result of global warming — climate change — I don’t see how I can support your nomination,” Sessions said.
Sessions, who serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, has long denied the existence of man-made climate change.
There is extensive research that has shown that climate change leads to harsher weather. The U.S. Global Change Research Program found it causes “more frequent heat waves, extreme precipitation, wildfires, and water scarcity.”
While Sessions did not say if he would go further with his opposition than voting no to McCabe, other Obama nominees have been derailed recently. Republicans voted down the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in early March for serving on a legal team that represented Mumia Abu-Jamal, who had been convicted of killing a police officer. Obama’s pick for Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, is stuck in limbo because the NRA threatened political consequences for Senators who vote for him.
Democrats have tried to make it easier to confirm nominees to positions after years of Republican obstructionism. In November, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid eliminated filibusters for judicial and executive office nominees in November in an attempt to fill vacancies on critical appeals courts.