March 8, 2016 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

Ken Cuccinelli’s Crusade Against Climate Change Science

by Democratic Party of Virginia

Other reasons Cuccinelli is unfit for the bench: 

#1: Cuccinelli's record on women's health 

#2: Cuccinelli's record on LGBT issues

#3: Cuccinelli's multiple conflict of interest scandals

#4 Cuccinelli is bad Lawyer 

#5: Cuccinelli's record on the Violence Against Women Act

#6: Cuccinelli's own party thinks he's too extreme 

Here is a sampling of  how Cuccinelli launched a full-blown crusade against climate change science: 

HEADLINE: A Climate Skeptic With a Bully Pulpit in Virginia Finds an Ear in Congress

Cuccinelli Waged “One Man War” against Climate Change Science

In February 2011, John Collins Rudolf profiled Cuccinelli’s “one-man war” against climate change science in the New York Times.

The piece read, “For nearly a year, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Virginia’s crusading Republican attorney general, has waged a one-man war on the theory of man-made global warming.” [John Collins Rudolf, New York Times, 2/22/11]

Cuccinelli’s “Allegations” against Climate Science “Resonating” with Tea Party Members of Congress

In February 2011, John Collins Rudolf profiled Cuccinelli’s battles against climate change and noted he gained traction with Tea Party members newly elected to Congress.

The piece read, “Now his allegations of manipulated data and scientific fraud are resonating in Congress, where Republican leaders face an influx of new members, many of them Tea Party stalwarts like Mr. Cuccinelli, eager to inveigh against the body of research linking man-made emissions to warming. ‘There’s a huge appetite among the rank-and-file to raise fundamental questions about the underlying science,’ said Michael McKenna, a Republican strategist and energy lobbyist.” [John Collins Rudolf, New York Times, 2/22/11]

Promised to Sue Federal Government over Any Climate Change Legislation

In November 2009, Inside Energy with Federal Lands reported Cuccinelli had promised during the campaign to sue the federal government over any climate change legislation became law.

The article read, “In another development in the Virginia election, Republican Ken Cuccinelli won the race for attorney general. During the campaign, he said he would use his new office to sue the federal government if it passed a climate-change bill capping greenhouse gas emissions from electric utilities, oil refineries and other industries.” [Inside Energy with Federal Lands, 11/09/09

Cuccinelli Called Climate Change Proposal “Ration and Tax”

The article read, “Cuccinelli, in an October opinion piece, said he would oppose any efforts to enact such a system in Congress. ‘As attorney general, I will use the tools of the office, including the 10th Amendment, to oppose 'Ration and Tax' and to pre-serve the opportunity for Virginians to have the energy they need to be successful in today's difficult economy,’ he wrote on the conservative political web site” [Inside Energy with Federal Lands, 11/09/09]

Cast Doubt on Global Warming after Major Snowstorm

In February 2010, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported Cuccinelli mocked global warming after a major snowstorm hit the DC metro area.

The article read, “In the Feb. 8 edition of The Cuccinelli Compass, his e-mailed newsletter, the Fairfax County resident wrote that he was looking ‘out the window at 30+ inches of global snowing.’” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/17/10]

Filed Federal Lawsuit to Overturn EPA Ruling that Greenhouse Gases Pose a Health Risk

In February 2010, Cuccinelli and the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a complaint with the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia asking that the federal court formally review a December 2009 EPA ruling classifying greenhouse gases as a risk to human health.

In the December ruling the EPA held that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) pose a risk to human health and the environment and consequently are subject to regulation under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). [Chemical News & Intelligence, 2/17/10]

Cuccinelli’s Lawsuit Signaled “Major Shift” in “Virginia’s Approach to Climate Change”

In February 2010, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported Cuccinelli’s lawsuit to overturn the EPA ruling classifying greenhouse gases as a health risk and thereby subject to regulation was a “major shift” in Virginia policy.

The EPA finding came after a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that heat-trapping gases are pollutants that the EPA can regulate.

The article read, “The moves signal a major shift in Virginia's approach to climate change. A commission appointed by previous Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat, found that global warming could spread disease in Virginia, threaten coastal areas and imperil native animals such as crabs. The panel, which included scientists, business people, lawmakers and environmentalists, unanimously adopted its final report in 2008.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/17/10]

EPA Stood by Ruling: “Scientific Evidence Overwhelmingly” Supported

EPA spokeswoman Adora Andy defended the ruling, “EPA found that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly indicates that greenhouse gases are a threat to the health and welfare of the American people.”  [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/17/10]

Sierra Club: Cuccinelli “Wasting Taxpayers’ Money on Frivolous Litigation”

Glen Besa, director of the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club, said, “The attorney general is wasting taxpayers' money on frivolous litigation. . . . In effect, he's questioning climate change.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/17/10]


Cuccinelli Made State “First in the Nation” to Contest Global Warming Ruling

In February 2010, the Virginian Pilot reported, “Virginia's attorney general said Tuesday that the state will be the first in the nation to contest a key finding by the Obama administration that carbon dioxide is a danger to public health and contributes to global warming.  In a statement, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he has filed petitions with the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington in hope of reversing the finding.” [Virginian Pilot, 2/17/10]

EPA Ruling “Pivotal” to Cutting Greenhouse Gases

The article read, “The ruling is pivotal to the Obama administration's drive to cut greenhouse gases through emission permits for sources such as factories, power plants, cars, trucks and businesses, as well as through incentives for clean-energy development.” [Virginian Pilot, 2/17/10]

Sierra Club: “Embarrassing” to the State to Have “Climate-Denier” AG

“It's a shame, and, frankly, embarrassing, that we now have a climate-denier as an attorney general,” said Glen Besa, state director of the Sierra Club, an advocacy group. [Virginian Pilot, 2/17/10]

Cuccinelli Questioned EPA Use of IPCC Data in Reaching Greenhouse Gases Ruling

In February 2010, Cuccinelli questioned the data used by the EPA in reaching its ruling on greenhouse gases.

The 200-page EPA technical document supporting its endangerment finding for greenhouse gases specified that it relied heavily on the findings of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the basis for its decision to regulate those emissions.

The article read, “The IPCC reports contend that warming of earth's atmosphere has been consistent in the decades since the end of World War II, that it is continuing and that human activity is likely the cause of those atmospheric temperature gains. But Cuccinelli contends that leaked e-mails from scientists at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in the UK have fatally undermined both the data and conclusions of IPCC reports.” [Chemical News & Intelligence, 2/18/10]

Cuccinelli: EPA “Ceded” Responsibility by Using other Data

The article read, “In relying on IPCC reports, said Cuccinelli, ‘EPA substantially ceded its obligation to make a judgment on the dangers of greenhouse gas emissions…There are significant issues with the EPA basing much of its endangerment finding on IPCC reports.” [Chemical News & Intelligence, 2/18/10]

Criticized EPA for Using UN Data instead of US Data

He said, “The IPCC reports were produced without regard to US data standards and thus lack the transparency and data quality standards that the EPA should be demanding in the reports it bases its endangerment findings on.” [Chemical News & Intelligence, 2/18/10]

Said EPA Ruling Driven by Politics

He said, “The EPA was driven by political concerns and used questionable scientific reports to reach an outcome dictated by politics. We cannot allow unelected bureaucrats with political agendas to use falsified data to regulate American industry and to drive our economy into the ground.” [Chemical News & Intelligence, 2/18/10]

Cuccinelli and “Global Warming Skeptics” Harped on Leaked Emails related to Data Used by the EPA

In February 2010, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported Cuccinelli and global warming skeptics criticized the EPA for using a UN climate change report related to a British email leak.

The article read, “According to Cuccinelli, that faulty data made their way into a key 2007 climate-change report by a United Nations panel and ultimately were used by the EPA to make its finding that global warming threatens the public. Many global-warming skeptics have been calling the British e-mail flap ‘Climategate’ and saying the messages disprove the notion that people are warming the planet.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/18/10]

NASA Scientist: British Emails Do Not Undermine Research

Bruce A. Wielicki, senior scientist for earth sciences at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, said the British e-mails do not undermine the voluminous research that shows people's actions are warming the Earth.

He said, “The Climate-gate issue is totally blown out of proportion . . . What we are primarily seeing is disinformation being spread by people who are not experts in climate science.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/18/10]

2007 UN Climate Change Report Cited by EPA Won a Nobel Prize

In February 2007, the Richmond Times Dispatch noted the 2007 UN climate change report cited by the EPA in its ruling won a Nobel Prize. [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/18/10]

George Mason Meteorologist: Global Warming “Practically Undeniable”

The article read, “The evidence for manmade global warming ‘is practically undeniable,’ said Jim Kinter, a meteorologist, part-time George Mason University faculty member and director of the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, a Calverton, Md., nonprofit dedicated to climate research. ‘There is little or no dispute in the scientific community about global warming,’ Kinter said.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 2/18/10]

Cuccinelli Said EPA Ruling was “Not Real Science”

The article read, “At issue for Cuccinelli is the EPA's reliance on information from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The credibility of the panel and some prominent climate researchers in England has recently been questioned. E-mails stolen from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia showed that some climate scientists stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data on climate change. ‘It's political science, not real science,’ Cuccinelli said.” [Virginian Pilot, 2/18/10]

Editorial Slammed Cuccinelli’s Lawsuit to Overturn EPA Ruling as Part of His “Political Agenda”

In February 2010, an editorial in the Virginian Pilot slammed Cuccinelli for his lawsuit to overturn the EPA ruling on greenhouse gases.

The editorial read, “VIRGINIANS knew it wouldn't take long for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to focus his attention and office on furthering his political agenda and ambitions. The surprise, perhaps, is that it took him a whole month to put Virginia embarrassingly ahead of Texas as an opponent of science and the source of states-rights nonsense.” [Virginian Pilot Editorial, 2/19/10]

Cuccinelli Filed Complaint with EPA and a Petition in Federal Court, “Just to be Sure”

The editorial read, “Cuccinelli on Tuesday filed paperwork asking the Environmental Protection Agency to essentially ignore a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that the feds have an obligation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions helping to warm the planet. He also filed a petition in federal court, just to be sure.” [Virginian Pilot Editorial, 2/19/10]

Despite “Concerns of Constituents,” Cuccinelli Picked an “Expensive Losing Fight”

The editorial read, “You'd think the attorney general of a state with one of the places most vulnerable to rising sea levels -- that would be Hampton Roads -- would be sensitive to the concerns of constituents. Instead, he's decided to pick an expensive losing fight with a federal agency that has science and the Constitution on its side.” [Virginian Pilot Editorial, 2/19/10]

Editorial: Cuccinelli Denied Global Warming even before EPA Ruling and So-Called Faulty Data

The editorial charged, “Here's the interesting thing, though: Cuccinelli was convinced that global warming was bunk long before either the stolen e-mails were released or the minor problems were found in the IPCC report. The attorney general was convinced before any of the discovery of the evidence he cited at Wednesday's press conference. That's probably not how Virginians want the state's top lawman to reason: Reach a verdict first, then consider only the evidence that supports it.” [Virginian Pilot Editorial, 2/19/10]

HEADLINE: Cuccinelli investigates 'Climategate' scientist

Demanded UVA Turn over Former Professor’s Emails about Global Warming Research

In May 2010, the Washington Post reported, “Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II is demanding that the University of Virginia turn over a broad range of documents from a former professor to determine whether he defrauded taxpayers as he sought grants for global warming research.” [Washington Post, 5/04/10]

Washington Post Editorial: Cuccinelli’s Investigation of Michael Mann “Designed to Intimidate and Suppress Honest Research”

In October 2010, the Washington Post editorial board stated, “The attorney general's logic is so tenuous as to leave only one plausible explanation: that he is on a fishing expedition designed to intimidate and suppress honest research and the free exchange of ideas upon which science and academia both depend -- all because he does not like what science says about climate change. Among other things, the attorney general demands that U-Va. turn over any correspondence it may have between Mr. Mann and 39 other scientists. Mr. Mann points out that among those Mr. Cuccinelli did not list by name are the two other researchers on the African savannah research grant that the attorney general is supposedly investigating.” [Washington Post Editorial, 10/6/10]

Editorial Praised Virginia Supreme Court Ruling Against Cuccinelli’s Investigation that Forced the University of Virginia to Spend $600,000 on Legal Fees

In March 2012, the Washington Post editorial board wrote, “Now that the Supreme Court has shut Mr. Cuccinelli down, what’s left is a range of consequences that can only hurt the commonwealth. The university had to raise nearly $600,000 for legal fees — money the cash-strapped university should have been able to use for something productive. On top of that are the public resources of the attorney general’s office that Mr. Cuccinelli wasted.” [Washington Post Editorial, 3/11/12]

2011: Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial: Cuccinelli Should Drop Inquiry and Apologize to Mann and Taxpayers

In August 2011, an editorial in the Richmond Times Dispatch stated, “The editorial read, “At this point, the decent thing for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to do would be to drop his own inquiry, apologize to Mann and then apologize to the taxpayers.” [Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial, 8/26/11]

2012: Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial: Cuccinelli’s “Pursuit Of Mann Was Wrong In Just About Every Way That It Is Possible To Be Wrong”

In March 2012, a Richmond Times Dispatch editorial stated: “Unfortunately, his pursuit of Mann was wrong in just about every way that it is possible to be wrong. That it rested on dubious science was the least of its many shortcomings. After all, the AG is not a scientist and cannot be expected to know much about climatology. But he is a lawyer, and he should know something about the law. Yet in order to bring a civil investigative demand, Cuccinelli relied on an extremely elastic interpretation of Virginia's Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA) -- a move not gracefully executed by someone who professes to believe in strict scrutiny and original intent.” [Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial, 3/5/12]