Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, January 10, 2017

Contact: Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351,

Senate Considers Nomination of Polluter-friendly, Enforcement-shy Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

WASHINGTON— The Senate Judiciary Committee today began hearings on President-elect Trump's nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. attorney general. As chief legal officer, Sessions would be responsible for upholding and enforcing federal law, including those that protect civil rights as well as environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

Sessions has been widely criticized for his record on civil rights in the Senate, as Alabama's attorney general and as a U.S. attorney under President Reagan.

“Jeff Sessions' backwards brand of politics takes America in exactly the wrong direction,” said KierĂ¡n Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity's executive director. “He has an abysmal record on civil rights and voting rights, and has consistently opposed efforts to protect the rights of women and the LGBTQ community. And then there's his dismal record as a climate science denier, a friend of polluters, and an enemy of endangered wildlife.”

The League of Conservation Voters gives Sessions a 7 percent lifetime environmental score, and just a 4 percent score for 2015. As a senator Sessions has repeatedly voted to expand oil and gas exploitation of public lands and against efforts to slow climate change, while accepting nearly $400,000 in contributions from the oil and gas industry. He has consistently questioned the reality of climate change, introduced a measure exempting fracking from enforcement actions under the Safe Drinking Water Act and even voted against measures that would limit toxic mercury released by coal-burning power plants. He's also said the federal government should step back from regulating interstate pollution.

“As attorney general Jeff Sessions will be called on to enforce federal laws and regulations that protect people and wildlife from pollution, address climate change and ensure that we have clean air and water,” Suckling said. “It's clear from his record that he's not just indifferent to protecting the environment and public health — he's actively hostile to these things.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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