Does Your Governor Deny Climate Science?

If they are a Republican, there is a good chance.

More Than Half Of Republican Governors Do.

A few weeks ago we wrote about the Anti-Climate Denier Caucus: 114th Congress Edition, a CAP Action analysis which found that, despite the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is happening and humans are contributing to it, 56 percent of congressional Republicans question or deny the science. Today CAP Action released a comprehensive look at each sitting Governor’s position on climate change, and found that Republican Governors are not much better than their peers in Congress—more than half of Republican Governors deny or question the existence of man-made climate change.

The 2014 midterm elections brought in eleven new governors, two of whom are confirmed climate deniers: Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE). Three accept the reality of mainstream climate science: Democrats David Ige of Hawaii, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island. The rest sit somewhere in between. The analysis categorizes governors into four different groups based on their statements about climate change and their record on pro-climate and clean-energy issues. Nationwide, 16 of 31 Republican governors completely deny the existence of man-made climate change, up one from before the midterm elections.

This weekend, many Republicans flocked to anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit. Both former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a well-known climate denier, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker attended the summit. While Palin was the ghost of elections past for Republicans, calling President Obama an “overgrown little boy” and reminding them how awful a McCain presidency would have been, Walker represented the future. He argued that he was a “fresh, bold and proven” leader, but he promotes the same tired, backward-looking anti-climate policies that his predecessors have. From trying to roll back the Clean Power Plan, to attempting to kill Wisconsin’s new wind economy, Walker claims he’s a 21st century governor but has an energy policy (along with a number of other policies) that is nothing of the sort.

You can see the interactive map here and get more details about each Governor’s position on climate change. And be sure to check out this infographic below to see which states are governed by a climate denier.

climate denying governors

BOTTOM LINE: Our governors work closer to the effects of climate change and are better poised to take action to combat it than their congressional counterparts, yet the majority of Republican Governors are unwilling to acknowledge the threat climate change poses to our the environment, our public health, and economy. Republicans need to worry more about the health and well-being of their constituents and less about the profits of their dirty energy funders.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.