North Carolinians should elect Deborah Ross their next U.S. Senator. Your children will thank you for it.
Hurricane Matthew, a record-setting storm that dumped up to 18 inches of rain on North Carolina towns from Wilmington to Raleigh, caused catastrophic damage and tragic loss of life. As of early this week, at least 26 people have died and more than 2,000 remained in shelters. The financial costs are massive, too, with $1.5 billion in damage to homes, businesses, and government buildings. That number rises to a crushing $4 billion when taking into account the lost economic output as a result of the damage and cleanup.
The science behind manmade climate change is clear and well-documented. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) analysis of Hurricane Matthew, warmer oceans and high atmospheric moisture levels due to rising global temperatures caused rainfall totals we should only experience once in a thousand years. Scientists tell us that without immediate meaningful climate action, North Carolinians, and indeed all Americans, can expect a future with more frequent and devastating weather events like Matthew.
In North Carolina, these dangers have fallen on U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s deaf ears for too long, and now he faces a powerful challenger in former Democratic state senator Deborah Ross. The outcome of this very close race should interest anyone who worries about the effects of climate change and the future we’ll leave our children.
- Last year, Burr voted against an amendment that sought to formally acknowledge human activity’s role in climate change, and the amendment failed by a single vote;
- He has voted to preserve tax benefits for fossil fuel companies and tried to restrict the EPA’s authority to regulate the harmful greenhouse gases that cause climate change;
- Burr was a staunch supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline;
- He opposes President Obama’s Clean Power Plan and the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, the best chance we have to stave off the worst effects of climate change;
- Burr also supports dangerous offshore drilling, claiming that an end to drilling would lead to an economic “contraction you’ve never dreamed of”;
- The League of Conservation Voters ranks Burr among the most dangerous enemies of climate, public health and the environment in Congress;
Burr’s positions on climate change and the environment are intolerable, but they’re not surprising when you consider who bankrolls his political campaigns. Since his first term in Congress, Burr has racked up $1.7 million in contributions from the energy industry, and just since his last campaign, the fossil fuel industry has pitched in nearly $900,000. Plus, the Senate Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC whose top contributors are Chevron and Petrodome Energy, has gone all-out in spending on attack ads against Deborah Ross.
Richard Burr is at the helm of a pack of lawmakers who have for far too long been puppets of a dangerous and dying fossil fuel industry. In the face of climate change, Burr’s irresponsible inaction renders him unfit to serve a third term in the U.S. Senate. North Carolinians who value a stable climate and secure future should elect Deborah Ross their next U.S. Senator. Your children will thank you for it.