Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, Craft has said publicly she believes “both sides” of climate science


Washington (May 3, 2019) – With the Trump administration formally nominating Ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft to be the new United Nations ambassador, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today called on Craft to answer questions about her views on the Paris climate agreement and international climate policy, as well as clarify potential conflicts of interest. Ambassador Craft’s financial disclosures show she has more than $63 million invested in oil, gas, and coal assets, as well as substantial rights to coal mining royalties in states such as Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. 


The Senators also note in the letter that Ambassador Craft’s husband is President and Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Resource Partners, the third largest coal producing company in the Eastern United States. Alliance Resource Partners is on record stating that voluntary commitments made in such agreements as the Paris climate accord and the 2015 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, “could further disfavor coal-fired generation, particularly in the medium- to long-term.” Senators Markey, Merkley, and Whitehouse make specific mention of the Ethics in Government Act and its requirement that federal employees not participate in matters “where an employee knows that [the matter] involving specific parties is likely to have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interest of a member of [her] household.”


“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,” write the Senators in their letter to Ambassador Craft. “Given your family’s business relationship with Alliance Resource Partners, the third largest coal producing company in the Eastern United States, where your husband serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, we 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.”


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


In the letter, the Senators ask Ambassador Craft to provide background information and answers to questions that include:

  • Do you acknowledge that climate change caused by humans is real and that climate change is occurring now and impacting citizens of the United States?
  • Do you agree with President Trump that the United States should withdraw from the Paris climate agreement?
  • Will U.S. participation in international climate agreements have a direct and predictable effect on the financial interest of you or a member of your family?
  • Are there estimates, projections, analysis, or other assessments that document the effect of international climate agreements on the value of fossil fuel assets in your financial portfolio, including but not limited to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • Do you believe you and your husband’s oil, gas, and coal assets impact your impartiality in matters related to the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or any other U.N. work related to climate change?


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.