#DayAgainstDenial: Thousands Demand the Senate Stand Up to Trump’s Climate Denial Cabinet

by Ryan Schleeter

January 10, 2017

Donald Trump has nominated a slate of climate deniers and literal oil CEOs to lead his administration — but the people are fighting back.

Day Against Denial #RejectRex

Activists in New Hampshire take part in the Day Against Denial, urging their senators to reject Donald Trump's anti-environment cabinet nominations.

If President-elect Donald Trump thought he would be able to steamroll the American people and appoint any science-denying white dude he wanted to his cabinet, then the people just proved him wrong.

Yesterday, thousands of people across all 50 states took action as part of the #DayAgainstDenial, demanding the Senate reject Trump’s nominations to lead the Departments of State, Energy, Interior, and the EPA — all of whom reject basic climate science. Already these demonstrations are having an impact: at least one Senate office said this was the largest meeting with voters they’ve ever had.

Take a look at these scenes from the people-powered movement to resist Trump.

#RejectRex: No Exxon CEO for Secretary of State

Rex Tillerson — the CEO of the world’s largest oil company and Trump’s choice for Secretary of State — was the main target of many of yesterday’s actions.

And with good reason. Under Tillerson, Exxon has partnered with authoritarian regimes to drill for oil all over the world and spent $27 million in 2015 alone to block climate action. As Secretary of State, Tillerson would pave the way for Exxon to drill in the Arctic — partnering with state-run Russian oil company Rosneft — and represent the United States in international climate negotiations around the Paris agreement.

Tillerson takes the Senate floor tomorrow, where he’ll try to argue that he’s the right fit for Secretary of State.

But Rex Tillerson isn’t the only roadblock to climate action Trump is trying place in his cabinet. There’s also EPA nominee Scott Pruitt, who’s spent most of his career suing the very agency he’s been tapped to lead; Energy Secretary nominee Rick Perry, better known as the 11th runner-up on Dancing With the Stars; and Ryan Zinke, the Department of Interior nominee who has pushed for government handouts to failing coal companies.

And let’s not forget Jeff Sessions, who brings the added bonus of being both a staunch climate science denier and outspoken racist. Sessions’ Senate hearing is currently underway.

More From Around the Country on the #DayAgainstDenial

Many braved some of the coldest weather of the year to join the #DayAgainstDenial, like these activists in Boston …

… and these in Minneapolis.

Voters in Florida targeted key Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who has already expressed doubts about Tillerson and could be poised to lead opposition to his nomination within the Republican party …

… while others kept the pressure on Senate leaders who have already pledged to vote against Trump’s dangerous nominees.

Activists in DC projected a “Reject Rex” message onto the walls of the State Department …

… and San Francisco ralliers were treated to powerful speeches by journalists Antonia Juhasz and Rebecca Solnit.

And while these activists took to the streets, you stood with them. In one day, more than 20,000 people signed on asking the Senate to block Rex Tillerson’s confirmation, and 3,000 people called their senators directly.

I called my senators this morning, and I can’t tell you how good it felt to get off the phone knowing that they — and their staff — are hearing our message loud and clear. Now it’s up to all of us to keep this momentum going! Act today stop climate denial from taking over the White House: call your senators at 855-636-8150 and ask them to #RejectRex.

Ryan Schleeter

By Ryan Schleeter

Ryan Schleeter is a content editor with the communications team at Greenpeace International. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Grist, GreenBiz, EcoWatch, and more. Find him on Twitter @ryschlee.

We Need Your Voice Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.