RELEASE: Gov. Abbott Joins Republican Governors Denying Climate Change

New analysis from CAP Action shows 56 percent of congressional Republicans and more than half of Republican governors deny or question the science behind climate change.

Washington, D.C. — In the wake of the 2014 midterm elections, 56 percent of congressional Republicans now deny or question the science behind climate change. Also joining the ranks of elected climate deniers are two new recently inaugurated governors, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Gov. Abbott built a record of opposing public health safeguards as Texas’ attorney general, when he sued the Environmental Protection Agency and the Obama administration over clean air and clean water issues.

With more immediate exposure to the realities and effects of climate change, governors are often more realistic about humans’ impact on climate change. However, despite 60 federal disaster declarations in the state since 2011, Gov. Abbott has questioned the science of climate change, saying, “As a matter of historical fact, the climate changes. … However, many scientists believe that certain human activities impact the climate. Others dispute the extent to which any activity has a particular level of influence on the climate, which is why this matter needs to continue to be investigated.”

“Gov. Abbott joins 15 other governors in rejecting the conclusion of 97 percent of climate scientists: that climate change is real and caused by human activities,” said Tiffany Germain, Research Manager for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “As scientists report that 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history, Gov. Abbott’s rejection of scientific consensus endangers the people of Texas, who know firsthand the consequences of climate change. Americans overwhelmingly support proposals to set limits on carbon pollution from power plants and think the United States should rely more on cleaner sources of energy. It’s time for climate change deniers to stop putting ideology ahead of our health.”

While they deny the realities of climate change, Texas’ 17 climate deniers in Congress have received a total of $12,826,179 in campaign contributions from the coal, oil, and gas industries, according to the analysis. The members are: Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX-06), Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26), Rep. John Carter (R-TX-31), Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX-11), Rep. John Culberson (R-TX-07), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX-27), Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX-17), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX-19), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX-22), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX-02), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX-21), Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX-13), Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

For more information, contact Benton Strong at  or 202.481.8142.