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Questions The Senate Should Ask

Donald Trump has not but been sworn in, but the Republican Congress has convened. Shortly it will begin hearings on Trump’s appointments — as a block extra a Cabinet suited for a corporatist President Ted Cruz than populist candidate Trump.

Trump and the Republicans control the White Home and Congress. What they don’t management – the place they’re weak – is the general public conversation. Tweets turn out to be a superb mechanism for getting headlines however not for making a storyline – and that is our alternative. The confirmation hearings should be utilized by involved Democratic and Republican Senators to hold Trump accountable for delivering on his incoherent smorgasbord of guarantees. The two key environmental nominees are Rex Tillerson and Scott Pruitt. The media has targeted around their opposition to action on local weather, Tillerson saying “suck it up and endure climate chaos,” Pruitt being a denialist. But it has not yet told the story of their full risk to our atmosphere, our well being, our economy and our national safety. Below, to begin this broader and more troubling dialogue, are ten questions the Senate should ask Tillerson and Pruitt earlier than it votes on whether or not to confirm them.

1) Mr. Tillerson, Lee Raymond, your predecessor, made clear that he did not view ExxonMobil as a US company, and didn’t “make choices based mostly on what is sweet for the US.” Your have stated that you simply signed oil leases that undercut US foreign coverage in Iraq because “I had to do what was finest for my shareholders.”

Q: Can you explain where, particularly, the interests of the oil trade may diverge from these of the average American What recommendation you’ll give the President to ensure that the interests of the US prevailed over these of oil firms

2) Following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the seizure of the Crimea, you and ExxonMobil visibly continued to assist Russia’s growth of its offshore Arctic oil fields. You pursued partnerships with Russian oil interests confronted with western sanctions. You clearly aligned with Russia.

Q: Did you consider these actions served the interests of the United States Or have been you putting your shareholders first

Three) Russia’s has refused to collaborate with international efforts to forestall human rights repression in Syria. This has resulted within the victory of the Assad regime and the butchery of Aleppo. The FBI and the CIA have concluded that Russia actively hacked American political parties in an effort to destabilize our democratic system and perhaps tilt the end result.

Q: Do you believe it is still within the interests of the United States for our oil companies, including ExxonMobil, to supply technical and financial assist to help Russia in becoming a more powerful oil producer Do you continue to oppose sanctions in opposition to Russia for violating international norms in Syria, the Ukraine and across the US elections

Four) Russia has not too long ago joined with OPEC to artificially rig the oil market. Costs have risen 20% as a result. petroleum refinery distillation pdf 6th US customers are once more paying more than a fair market value for gasoline and diesel.

Q: What steps would you advocate the US take to discourage Russia from conspiring with OPEC to price-gouge How would you advocate to the President that he ensure that the worth of oil by no means again soars to $70, $80, $ninety even $one hundred degree In your view, how important to the US are reasonable – below $60 — oil prices

5) You may have repeatedly mentioned that when you consider in local weather change, it’s not but potential for the world to maneuver past fossil fuels, as a result of alternatives usually are not prepared.

Q: If we continue to rely on petroleum for ninety% or more of our transportation energy, can you guarantee Individuals that the value of getting around will never once more spike to the levels we noticed over the last decade Is getting off oil only a climate difficulty, or is it also an financial necessity If alternatives should not but prepared, would you urge the US to actively be part of with different oil-importing international locations for a Manhattan fashion undertaking to carry low-carbon transportation applied sciences to full competitiveness inside the following four years

1) Mr. Pruitt, ten % of American girls have dangerous levels of mercury in their our bodies. However latest knowledge reveals that since the United States started cleaning up emissions from coal energy plants, not solely has mercury pollution in the North Atlantic fallen dramatically, so has the concentration of mercury in Atlantic fisheries. Mercury in Atlantic bluefin tuna is down 19% in only eight years.

Q: Given this resounding affirmation that regulation works, how firmly are you able to guarantee us that if you are confirmed, EPA’s latest successful crackdown on all sources of mercury emissions, including coal energy plants will accelerate, rather than pulling back

2) The President election has pledged that the kind of poisoning that devastated Flint “would have by no means occurred if I had been president.” Over one thousand American communities have lead poisoning levels no less than 4 instances increased than Flint’s. Over 18 million American stay in communities that do not correctly check, or violate, lead and copper contamination guidelines.

Q: How a few years will it take the Trump Administration to attain pure, safe, drinking water for all People Have you discussed with the President-elect the sources you will need to ship on his promise that a Flint-like disaster won’t ever occur again In addition to federal monetary commitments, what other modifications in laws or laws will you want to ensure each American household that their kids can drink the water without worry

3) You’ve got attacked the Obama Administration’s “Waters of the United States” regulation, objecting to “the numerous negative affect such a rule would inflict on states and the landowners inside their borders.” Oklahoma’s main streams and rivers lie within two river basins, the Crimson and the Arkansas, each of which movement into other states. And Oklahoma receives most of its waters from upstream neighbors, notably Texas.

Q: Without nationwide regulation, how would you suggest that that Oklahoma’s downstream neighbors – Arkansas and Louisiana – guarantee the standard of the water that flows across their boundaries And how would you counsel that Oklahoma protects the quality of the water that it receives from upstream neighbors like Texas You seem to consider that the one parties with an interest in water are those inside a state, not downstream neighbors. Why

4) You campaigned in 2010 against a “one-size-suits-all technique” towards environmental protection. That phrase is generally used to imply that whether or not American children must be adequately – or inadequately – protected towards poisonous air, water and meals must be primarily based on the political jurisdiction wherein they happen to live.

Q: Is that what you meant – that air and water well being requirements should range from state industry to state Do kids’s hearts or senior’s lungs fluctuate of their vulnerability to pollution between Okahomans and Californians Do you accept the premise at the guts of the Clean Air and Clear Water Acts that each American, wherever they stay, ought to have a science primarily based, legally assured proper to wash air, pure water and wholesome meals Or do you assume these selections must be made by local politicians based mostly on curiosity group lobbying

5) In recent years spills, leaks and collapses of coal ash impoundments have grow to be a higher and greater hazard to scrub water. The truth is, more than half of the total toxic water pollution present in America’s rivers, lakes and streams comes from such impoundments.

Q: Do you consider that coal ash from power plants and different coal-burning services must be regulated as a hazardous pollutant, given that its chemical composition consists of lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic What would you do as Administrator to make sure that the sorts of ash spills recently devastating Kingston, Tennessee and Dan River, North Carolina, never again occur, anyplace

These ten questions are as a lot as a weblog can handle – however a strong Senate affirmation hearing should probe a far wider range of matters and more deeply. Please, assume up your individual key questions for Tillerson and Pruitt – and for different Trump cabinet nominees like Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Ship them to your Senators – Republican and Democratic – and urge them to ask them, and insist on actual answers, not politically correct evasions. And then turn your questions right into a letter to the editor of your native paper. Let’s take management of the conversation – as Abraham Lincoln stated, what actually matters in the long run in public sentiment. With it, every little thing, even surviving Donald Trump, is possible.

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