RELEASE: Gov. Ricketts 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 change deniers are two newly inaugurated governors, including Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Already, we have seen the new Congress debate the reality of climate change, and now Gov. Ricketts joins the more than 50 percent of Republican governors who willingly ignore the effect of climate change on their states.

With more immediate exposure to the realities and consequences of climate change, governors are often more realistic about humans’ effect on climate change. However, despite Nebraska’s nine federal disaster declarations since 2011, Gov. Ricketts rejects the science behind climate change, saying he remains a “skeptic.” “I believe it is far from clear—despite what the other side is saying—it is far from clear what is going on with our climate.” He argues that he has not seen proof that human activity is responsible for climate change.

“Gov. Ricketts 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. Ricketts’ rejection of scientific consensus endangers the people of Nebraska and the state’s economy. 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, Nebraska’s two climate deniers currently in Congress have received a total of $204,405 in campaign contributions from the coal, oil, and gas industries, according to the analysis. The members are: Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE-03) and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE).

For more information, contact Benton Strong at  or 202.481.8142.