Kirk on Climate: Senator’s Comments Deeply Disappointing

CHICAGO (January 8, 2015) – Illinois’ junior Senator, Mark Kirk, was reported to have made some surprising statements this week denying that industrial pollution has any connection to climate change.

Following is a statement from Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Midwest Director Henry Henderson:

“The Senator’s statements rejecting the science on climate change are, frankly, bewildering. They represent a real about-face from previous on-the-record statements on climate change.

“This week, Senator Kirk spoke about the need for bipartisan leadership in this Congress. There are few issues more desperately in need of bi-partisan leadership than tackling climate change. Yet, if left uncorrected, Senator Kirk’s surprising statements make bipartisan and American leadership much, much harder.

“I hope the Senator can clarify his remarks because there is strong need for him to be a leader in advancing clean energy for Illinois, the nation, and the globe, in order to meet the serious threat to our economy and health posed by climate change. Senator Kirk has been a bi-partisan leader on this before, and we need him to reclaim that distinction as numerous anti-environmental bills are speeding through Congress."

Carbon pollution from energy, transportation and industrial sectors fuels climate change, which triggers more asthma attacks and respiratory disease, worsens air quality, and contributes to more frequent, destructive, costly and deadly extreme weather events. Senator Kirk’s reported comments on the topic are out of line with 97% of climate scientists, and an overwhelming majority of Illinoisans, who believe that we should adopt policies to address climate change.


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