HELENA, MT, October 14, 2020 – Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett finally shared her views on the growing climate crisis yesterday and they can only be described as outright denial. New reporting and research by Accountable.US reveal Barrett’s deep ties to multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell Oil. The polluting Big Oil corporation appears on her recusal list seven times, she previously worked at the corporation’s law firm, and her father’s representation of the corporation suggests a troubling connection.
Foreshadowing her outright denial of climate change, previous analysis by Accountable.US found Barrett sided with corporate interests over people 76% of the time and has overwhelmingly ruled against consumers, immigrants, workers, and more.
“Amy Coney Barrett’s record and views prove that she is anti-science, anti-environment, and an outright climate denier. From the little we do know about her environmental record, we can confidently say that she will side with powerful corporations on the high bench,” said Jayson O’Neill, Accountable.US spokesperson. “The Western half of this country is literally on fire, the Midwest is flooding, and the South is experiencing the worst hurricane and tropical storm season on record. America needs a justice who will remember that the court and the law are supposed to protect people’s health, safety, and lives — not the interests of wealthy corporate polluters.”
In a shocking statement last night, Barrett said, “I mean, I’ve read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it.” More revealing may be the fact that her recusal list includes the oil giant, Royal Dutch Shell Oil, seven times and her father’s near life-long representation of the Big Oil corporation. Barrett’s previous anti-environmental past affirms her climate change denial:
- Barrett ruled against Clean Water Act protections in a precedent-setting decision in favor of a real estate developer’s purchase of wetlands found to reduce pollutions, flooding, and support wildlife.
- A 2018 analysis for the Yale Journal on Regulation found that Barrett takes a “rule-like” approach to interpreting environmental statutes that would handcuff the government’s ability to address the growing climate crisis.
- Barrett has a track record in line with the late justice Antonin Scalia of denying standing in court for those that want to sue corporate polluters, which could all but eliminate climate suits. She also ruled that plaintiffs lacked standing in a suit on municipal parkland.
- She previously worked for a white-collar criminal defense law firm whose clients included major oil corporations, including Shell.
- When Barrett worked for Shell’s law firm, the corporation knew climate change was an impending crisis.
The Supreme Court docket includes an appeal by Dutch Shell Oil to a previous ruling that found cities and states could hold big polluters accountable for climate inducing emissions. Barrett has yet to indicate if she would recuse herself from that case. Behind the Senate’s kangaroo confirmation process are hundreds of millions of Big Oil tied dollars flowing to support corporate activist judges like Barrett.
If confirmed, it is almost assured that Coney Barrett will continue her proven pattern of siding with polluting corporate interests over the American people.
Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes corruption across all levels of government.