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Environmental Leaders Endorse Sue Minter, Call Out Phil Scott’s Allegiance to Koch Brothers



Christina Amestoy, VDP Communications Director


Environmental Leaders Endorse Sue Minter, Call Out Phil Scott’s Allegiance to Koch Brothers

October 17, 2016


Burlington, VT Yesterday, Sierra Club drew stark contrast between Sue Minter and Phil Scott as they endorsed Sue Minter for governor. During the endorsement, statewide and national environmental activists called out Phil Scott for his misguided environmental policies and his unwillingness to recognize the science behind climate change.


“It’s not only about the climate, it’s also about the economy,” said Dan Kinney, President of Catamount Solar in Randolph, Vermont. “Sue Minter has a plan... Unfortunately, the other candidate has a 50-page job plan, but not once does he mention renewables. Not once does he mention this industry. I can’t see us go backwards.”


“It’s time for us to pay really serious attention,” said leading environmentalist, Bill McKibben said about the threat of climate change. “Look at the other side in this election- the people who are bankrolling the Republican candidacy for governor. The most prominent people in Vermont this month are not Ben and Jerry, they’re Charles and David Koch.”


“Phil Scott is not for the environment,” emphasized Aaron Mair, Sierra Club national president. “Based on what he has said and done, your lieutenant governor claims he doesn’t understand the urgency of climate change. Phil Scott has repeatedly denied that climate change is man-made. Now you can see why the Koch brothers support him.”


“Sue Minter will be our national standard bearer in the fight against climate change. Vermont’s environmental candidate and leader is Sue Minter.”


“Phil Scott’s has both denied the very real threat that climate change brings to our state and economy, and ignored our thriving renewable energy sector that employees over 17,000 Vermonters,” said VDP Spokesperson Christina Amestoy. “That’s not leadership - that’s being environmentally and fiscally irresponsible. Vermonters need a governor who has a plan to face the threat of climate change - not one who dismisses it with excuses pulled from the national Republicans’ handbook.”


Check the facts:

Scott “Hedged” On Whether Climate Change Was Caused By Humans. The Rutland Herald reported, “All five candidates said they believed climate change is real — though Scott hedged on whether it was caused by humans.” [Rutland Herald, 7/21/16]


June 2016: When Asked If Climate Change Is Man-Made, Scott Said “Whether It's Man-Made Or Not Is Almost Immaterial.”During a June 2016 radio interview, host Mike Smith asked, “Lieutenant Governor, let's get right to it. I've got a whole host of questions. Do you believe in climate change and you believe it's man made?” Scott answered, “I believe that the science is real, that the climate is changing, whether it's man made or not is almost immaterial. I think the answers are clear, I think we have to do, we can’t take any chances at this point, and we have to do everything we can to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, to try to become more self sufficient. I’m an independent sort myself. And so regardless of whether you think it’s man-made or not, again, being more self-sufficient is important in reducing our reliance on foreign oil.” [WDEV, 6/2/16]


July 2016: Scott Said, “I Do Believe Climate Change Is Real, And It Could Be For Many Different Reasons.” The Burlington Free Press reported, “‘Yes, I do believe climate change is real, and it could be for many different reasons. I'd rather look at what we can agree to. There are many who think it's caused by human behavior. There are some that believe it's due to climate change on a changing worldwide basis. But again, I'd rather focus on what we can agree to,’ [Scott] said later that month at a gubernatorial forum that focused on climate change.” [Burlington Free Press, 8/24/16]


August 2016: Scott Excused His Climate Change Waffling By Stating “I’m Not A Scientist.” When he finally chose to pivot back to the center and recognize that climate change is predominantly man-made, Scott used the excuse, “I’m not a scientist” to explain his previous denial. [Seven Day, 08/24/16]


The Koch Brothers are a Major Donor to the RGA and the RGA Encourages its Candidates to Attend Koch Seminars and Follow Up with Fundraising Calls. According to the Post-Gazette, “Any fracturing of the Koch network could have ramifications down to the state level. Fundraising documents from the Republican Governors Association — which the Kochs backed last year to the tune of $3.5 million — show that the RGA instructs gubernatorial candidates to attend the brothers’ seminars and follow up with ‘Koch calls’ to the deep-pocketed donors they meet.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/16/15]


MSNBC Headline: “Koch Brothers Push GOP Officials To Sign Anti-Climate Pledge.” [MSNBC, 7/3/13]



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