Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

The overreach of the administration on climate

Jun 7, 2016
In The News

Last year the Environmental Protection Agency finalized its highly controversial Waters of the United States regulation. This set in motion the largest government power grab in our nation’s history. The rule changes the way water is defined in order to maximize the federal government’s ability to control Americans’ private property. Unfortunately, this overburdensome regulation is not an outlier for this administration. As the Obama administration continues to promote its radical climate change agenda, Americans should expect further encroachment by the federal government on their everyday lives. 

Recently, a federal judge ruled that because of potential impacts from climate change, wolverines should be placed on the endangered species list. The judge argued that the wolverine, which makes its winter home using snow, is dependent on temperatures being sufficiently cold for snow to occur and is thus threatened by potential climate change impacts. If a single federal judge is able to declare what is appropriate for the government to regulate based only on theoretical possibilities, where does it stop?

Decisions like these are being made based on projection models that are nothing more than speculation. In fact, the science routinely contradicts these farfetched claims. In the case of the wolverine, some studies projected less snowfall, while others were unable to predict the same result. The mere fact that these discrepancies exist in climate science is reason enough not to push forward with actions that impact Americans’ rights. To millions of Americans, this makes sense, but unfortunately, federal officials are often out of step with the American people. 

Time and again this administration has opted to use fear as its primary agent of action. Dire predictions of a warming planet with catastrophic consequences are published in government reports and funneled to the media. The result is a slanted viewpoint that emphasizes negative impacts based on speculation. Science that does not fit environmentalists’ narrative and evidence of historical trends that disprove the administration’s models are excluded.

This practice is not the scientific method, which should be used to inform our policy decisions. Instead, the administration ignores valid data and has even vilified scientists that do not toe the party line. For instance, the administration continues to perpetuate the myth that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and man-made. Time and again, the study that produced this number has been debunked. Still, this hasn’t stopped the administration, including the president, from using error-driven data to fit its narrative. 

The administration also ignores historical climate and weather trends. In a recent report about health impacts from climate change, the administration once again inaccurately claimed that climate change causes an increase in extreme weather events. However, the data does not support this conclusion. 

There have been little to no trends in increased extreme weather events for decades. Whether it is increased frequency, intensity or normalized damage, the data do not support the administration’s statements. However, this hasn’t stopped the administration from using falsehoods of increased extreme weather as the justification for its costly regulations. Even the very liberal Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found “low confidence” that extreme weather events would increase in the future. 

The president should not continue to polarize the climate change issue by using flimsy scientific justifications to promote his extreme agenda. Perhaps a presidential visit to cities where Americans have been economically injured by this administration’s job-killing green agenda would allow the president to better understand the consequences of his burdensome regulations. The least he could do is stop by before he increases his plans to regulate the American people’s own backyards.

Smith represents the 21st District of Texas in the House of Representatives and is the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

114th Congress