Two congressional Democrats are offering to school Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on climate change after the Kentucky Republican questioned whether the earth is warming.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., wrote to McConnell offering to have him meet with climate scientists to discuss the threat of climate change.
“You have a position of tremendous importance and influence on the nation’s environmental and energy policies,” the letter said. “For that reason, we believe it is crucial that you are fully informed of the latest state of the science of climate change. We respectfully request that you allow us to assist you in arranging a briefing with the nation’s preeminent climate scientists so that you can be fully informed of the threat posed by climate change.”
The offer was prompted by comments from McConnell on Friday questioning whether humans are causing climate change.
“For everybody who thinks it’s warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t,” the Kentucky Republican told the Cincinnati Enquirer in an extended interview.
McConnell has been an ardent defender of the Kentucky coal industry, trying to stop Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking that would limit carbon emissions from new stationary power plants , though McConnell’s resolution under the Congressional Review Act has virtually no chance of success.
McConnell’s comments also come as 28 Senate Democrats, including Whitehouse, plan to pull an all-nighter Monday night to urge action on climate change. In the letter, Whitehouse and Waxman said they were concerned by the comments.
“We are writing to advise you that your statements are inconsistent with the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, is caused primarily by humans, and will have serious impacts if unchecked,” the letter said.