John McCain, Climate Change Denier

On Earth Day, American Bridge is highlighting Senator John McCain’s poor record on environmental issues.

“Senator John McCain’s record on environmental issues is a disgrace to Arizona. He and his fellow Washington Republicans have voted against fighting climate change and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, refusing to acknowledge the need to protect the environment,”said American Bridge President Jessica Mackler. “Preserving Arizona’s natural wonders and resources should be a priority for Sen. McCain. Instead, Sen. McCain has joined the GOP ranks in climate change denial.”

Background:

John McCain

McCain: Human Caused Climate Change Denier

VOTED TO DENY CLIMATE CHANGE WAS OCCURRING

2015: McCain Voted Against Agreeing That “Climate Change Is Real,” That It Was “Caused By Human Activities,” And That The U.S. Must Back Research And Development Of “Clean Fossil Fuel Technology.” In January 2015, McCain voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated, “It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community and a growing number of top national security experts, economists, and others that—(1) climate change is real; (2) climate change is caused by human activities; (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world; (4) the Energy Information Administration projects that fossil fuels will continue to produce 68 percent of the electricity in the United States through 2040; and (5) it is imperative that the United States invest in research and development for clean fossil fuel technology.” The vote was on a motion to table the proposed amendment to the Senate’s version of legislation directing the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, so that a vote for the motion was, in effect, a vote against the amendment. The Senate agreed to the motion by a vote of 53 to 46, killing the amendment. [Senate Vote 15, 1/22/15; Congressional Record, 1/22/15; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

2015: McCain Voted Against Stating That “Human Activity Significantly Contributes To Climate Change.” In January 2015, McCain voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated that “it is the sense of Congress that—(1) climate change is real; and (2) human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” The Senate rejected the proposed amendment to its version of legislation that directed the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline by a vote of 50 to 49; it needed 60 votes to be adopted. [Senate Vote 12, 1/21/15; Congressional Record, 1/20/15; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

OPPOSED COMBATTING CLIMATE CHANGE

2015: McCain Voted Against Combating Economic And National Security Threats Posed By “Human-Induced” Climate Change Using Unspecified Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy And Carbon Emission Reduction Initiatives. In March 2015, McCain voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to allow for legislation that would address human-induced climate change through increased use of clean energy, energy efficiency and reductions in carbon pollution.” According to the Congressional record, the purpose of Amendment No. 1014 was to “establish a deficit neutral reserve fund relating to responding to the economic and national security threats posed by human induced climate change, as highlighted by the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.” The Senate adopted the amendment to its version of the FY 2016 budget resolution by a vote of 53 to 47, and subsequently passed the amended resolution. [Senate Vote 115, 3/26/15; Congressional Quarterly, 3/26/15; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11; S. Con. Res. 11, 4/7/15]

2015: McCain Voted Against Reducing Carbon Pollution In Response To Human-Caused Climate Change. In March 2015, McCain voted against an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2016 budget resolution that, according to The Hill, would have “called on lawmakers to recognize that climate change is real and caused by human activity. The amendment also called on Congress to take action to cut carbon pollution.” The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 49 to 50. [Senate Vote 89, 3/25/15; The Hill, 3/25/15; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11]

2015: McCain Voted Against Agreeing That The U.S. Energy System Must Quickly Move From Fossil Fuels To Sustainable, Efficient Energy To Prevent “Irreparable Harm” To The Earth From Human-Caused Climate Change. In January 2015, McCain voted against an amendment that, according to the Congressional Record, stated, “It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that—(1) climate change is real; (2) climate change is caused by human activities; (3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world; (4) a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and (5) it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible.” The vote was on a motion to table the proposed amendment to the Senate’s version of legislation directing the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, such that a vote for the motion was effectively a vote against the amendment. The Senate agreed to the motion by a vote of 56 to 42, killing the amendment. [Senate Vote 16, 1/22/15; Congressional Record, 1/21/15; Congressional Actions, S. 1]

AGAINST REGULATING GREENHOUSE GASSES

2013: McCain Voted To Prohibit The Federal Government From Regulating Greenhouse Gases. In March 2013, McCain voted for an amendment that, according to The Hill’s E2 Wire, “would have prohibited federal greenhouse gas regulations.” The vote was on the amendment, offered against the Senate’s version of the fiscal year 2014 budget resolution; the Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 47 to 52. [Senate Vote 76, 3/22/13; The Hill’s E2 Wire,3/23/13]

2011: McCain Voted To Prohibit The EPA From Regulating Greenhouse Gases. In April 2011, McCain voted for an amendment that, according to the Congressional Research Service, would, “permanently remove EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.” The Senate rejected the amendment by a vote of 50 to 50 under a unanimous consent agreement that adoption would require 60 votes. [Senate Vote 54, 4/6/11; Congressional Record, 4/5/11; Congressional Research Service, 4/11/11]

2011: McCain Voted To Prevent the EPA From Enforcing Greenhouse Gas Emissions. In March 2011, McCain voted for a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would prohibit the EPA from using funds appropriated by the bill for creating or implementing regulations pertaining to stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the bill would prohibit the EPA from using funds to implement greenhouse gas regulations that are a response to concerns regarding possible climate change.” The provision was part of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government until the end of FY 2011. The bill was rejected by the Senate by a vote of 44 to 56. The bill number was later used as the vehicle for another piece of legislation. [Senate Vote 36, 3/9/11; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1; Congressional Quarterly, 3/1/11]