- Take Sides: Skelos’s Climate Profiteering

For Immediate Release: May 6, 2015

Skelos’s Climate Profiteering

Take Sides Coalition Calls on Senate Leader to Address If Remarks Are True

Albany – In his complaint against state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara alleged this exchange was recorded (pg. 34):

“We got some major water problems here with all the flooding going on...I love it! Keep it coming Mother Nature! Keep it coming!” Adam Skelos told his father, according to the complaint. Both laughed, then Dean Skelos replied, “It will.”

The following statement comes from the Take Sides coalition:

“We call on Senator Skelos to clarify whether this is an accurate attribution. If he did indeed laugh at his son’s purported joke and make these remarks, then that is repugnant and immoral.

Senator Skelos represents a district that has been ravaged by extreme weather events almost certainly fueled by the changing climate. Superstorm Sandy took dozens of lives and devastated the very communities he was elected to represent.

If the laughter and comments attributed to Senator Skelos actually took place, New Yorkers and the nation were just given disturbing insight into how one of the state’s most powerful leaders makes decisions. Too many politicians, whether in state legislatures or in Congress, have become climate profiteers — benefiting directly, either personally or through their campaign accounts, from industries that continue to prosper while their communities suffer and the climate crisis intensifies. In this case, Senator Skelos even allegedly laughed about his own constituents’ misfortune.

If the laughter and remarks attributed to Senator Skelos took place, Senator Skelos is unfit for any leadership role in New York, regardless of whether he is found guilty of any criminal charges. Those who stand with him are enabling and embracing a climate profiteer. They too must be held responsible.”

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The Take Sides coalition is an emerging network of organizations representing the people whose lives are hurt by inaction on climate change, demanding that state and federal government stop making excuses and act. The growing list of organizations includes: El Puente, Make the Road New York, New York Working Families Party and Working Families Organization, New York Communities for Change, Center for Popular Democracy, 32BJ SEIU, Communications Workers of America District 1, and Environmental Advocates of New York.

Contacts:

Stuart Marques: 917-273-6194 

Steve Dooley: 443-955-3101

Violeta Trinidad: 347-994-6665

Travis Proulx: 518-462-5526 x238