Senate Dems challenge Trump's UN nominee on climate change

Three Senate Democrats on Friday called on Kelly Craft, President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo says shrinking Arctic sea ice presents ‘new opportunities for trade’ Iowa Republican ousted in 2018 says he will run to reclaim House seat Trump pardons ex-soldier convicted of killing Iraqi prisoner MORE’s nominee to serve as United Nations ambassador, to commit to prioritizing U.S. interests on climate change over her financial interests.

In the letter, Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Energy: Dems challenge Trump UN nominee on climate change | Senators seek probe into head of EPA air office | UN report warns 1 million species threatened by extinction Senate Dems challenge Trump’s UN nominee on climate change Rick Scott says Ocasio-Cortez has embarrassed Congress ‘to the point of irrelevance’ MORE (D-Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Dems challenge Trump UN nominee on climate change | Senators seek probe into head of EPA air office | UN report warns 1 million species threatened by extinction Senate Dems challenge Trump’s UN nominee on climate change Overnight Health Care: House Dems introduce moderate Medicare expansion plan | CBO releases analysis on single payer | Sanders knocks Biden health care plan MORE (D-Ore.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Dems challenge Trump UN nominee on climate change | Senators seek probe into head of EPA air office | UN report warns 1 million species threatened by extinction Dem senators call for probe into EPA officials over memo language Dems request probe of Barr communication on Mueller spinoff probes MORE (D-R.I.) submitted a series of questions to Kelly Craft, who currently serves as the U.S. ambassador to Canada and was formally nominated for the U.N. ambassador position last week.

The three senators, in the letter, note Craft’s ties to the energy industry through more than $60 million in fossil fuel investments, as well as her husband Joe Craft, CEO of coal producer Alliance Resource Partners.

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“As our U.N. Ambassador, you would be responsible for representing the United States at the United Nations on matters affecting international cooperation and action to address the climate crisis,” the senators wrote.

“[W]e need assurances that, in connection with U.N. activities related to climate change, you will put our nation’s interests ahead of your personal financial interests,” they wrote.

Specifically, the letter asks whether Craft acknowledges climate change exists and is caused by human activity, whether she agrees with Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and whether U.S. adherence to international climate agreements would impact her financial interests.

The letter also asks whether Craft believes her and her husband’s financial interests will affect her neutrality on climate issues.

“Should the United States fully withdraw from the Paris climate agreement – which President Trump has announced plans to do – the United Nations Ambassador becomes America’s chief diplomat on global climate change issues,” Markey said in a statement.

Craft’s views on climate change have come into question before. In October 2017, soon after she was appointed to serve as ambassador to Canada, Craft told Canada’s CBC News that she believes “both sides” of climate change science.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

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