Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) delays confirmation of John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco


The Washington Post reports this morning that the long-awaited Senate confirmation of Presidential Science Adviser John Holdren and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco has been put “on hold” by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) over an unrelated matter.  We wrote a letter to the Senator urging him to withdraw his objection, contacted his office by phone, and encourage our colleagues to do likewise.  Contact information follows, see details….

Juliet Eilperin’s article reports;

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has placed a “hold” that blocks votes on confirming Harvard University physicist John Holdren, who is in line to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Oregon State University marine biologist Jane Lubchenco, Obama’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ….Menendez is [allegedly] using the holds as leverage to get Senate leaders’ attention for a matter related to Cuba …


Anyone wishing to urge the Senator to release his hold immediately so we can get down to the business of dealing with climate disruption—including the eventual inundation of the New Jersey shore as a result of sea level rise—can do so by placing a phone call to his office and/or sending a note:

  Menendez, Robert – (D – NJ)


  (202) 224-4744

We are seeing that grassroots democracy is an increasingly powerful means for advancing our civic responsibilities in dealing with climate disruption.  We see no reason why his phone should not be ringing off the hook and his email flooded today over this matter.

Here is our letter to the Senator:

Climate Science Watch
Government Accountability Project
1612 K Street, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006

Senator Robert Menendez
528 Hart Senate Office Building
US Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Sen. Menendez:

    We read in today’s Washington Post (‘Nominations on Hold For 2 Top Science Posts’ by Juliet Eilperin) that you have, allegedly, placed a hold on the Senate confirmation votes for Dr.  John Holdren for Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dr. Jane Lubchenco to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Both were named nearly three months ago, and the non-controversial nomination hearing was held three weeks ago.  There is no excuse for further delay, as climate disruption poses serious threats to our economy, our environment, and our overall security.  Much important work is stalled because of your actions; we urge you to withdraw your objection and resolve your unrelated issues independently of this matter. 
    Drs. Holdren and Lubchenco are widely recognized experts on climate change; both hold national and international notoriety for their life-long achievements.  In the interest of responsibly dealing with one of the biggest challenges of our time —not to mention a looming threat to your own constituents in New Jersey who face the prospect of coastal flooding and more dangerous storm surges as a result of sea level rise and other myriad impacts – we respectfully appeal to your good judgment and ask you to release the hold on the Senate confirmation. 

  Thank you.


  Rick Piltz, Director
  Anne Polansky, Sr. Associate
  Climate Science Watch

CSW holds government officials accountable for applying scientific research and policy analysis with integrity to the crucial task of “avoiding the unmanageable while managing the unavoidable” ecological, societal, and economic impacts of global climatic disruption.


Related links:

Holdren and Lubchenco sail through Senate confirmation hearing with flying colors

Obama to appoint John Holdren as President’s Science Adviser? This would be a great choice. 

Jane Lubchenco for NOAA Administrator 

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