“Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett repeatedly dodged questions about the scientific reality of climate change during her Senate confirmation hearing last week, and questions asked away from live cameras offered little more clarity.
In written responses submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee and released Tuesday night, Barrett, 48, refused to answer questions about her father’s ties to the American Petroleum Institute, the nation’s largest and most powerful oil and gas lobby.
Barrett’s father, Mike Coney, is a Catholic deacon and attorney who worked for Royal Dutch Shell for decades. For more than 20 years, he was also an “active member of The American Petroleum Institute Subcommittee of Exploration and Production Law” and twice served as its chairman, according to a biography on his law firm website.
A recusal list Barrett submitted as part of her job on the bench of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit mentions Shell seven times; however, it does not list API, which spent more than $6.6 million lobbying last year alone.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked Barrett in writing if her father’s leadership role at API required her to recuse herself from cases involving the trade group. Barrett referred Durbin to her answer to a previous question about whether there are any other energy companies she must recuse herself from.”