House Hate on EPA Week

by Kyle Ash

March 11, 2011

This week polluters of America are seeing that paying politicians yields results. Here are a few examples.

On Tuesday GOP in the House more or less admonished climate scientists who are concerned with runaway global warming enough to support EPA in their work. They trotted out one of their favorite scientifically qualified, albeit indirectly Exxon-funded, researchers to sow the seeds of the climate doubt.

Dr. John R. Christy is motivated to speak out on environmental policy. In 2009 Dr. Christy sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson advocating against increasing vehicle efficiency. He touted at the time having testified in Congress 11 times. Christy is a PhD at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Although he’s in the North part of the state, Dr. Christy might at least promote caution on fossil fuel extraction and use. After almost a year since the BP blowout, Christy’s enthusiasm for contributing to policy outcomes has not carried over to oil sullying his own state’s coast.

Speaking of industry-funded delaying of climate policy, yesterday the subcommittee responsible for clean air policy in the House approved a climate denier bill aimed at maintaining or increasing global warming pollution. The legislation introduced by Rep. Upton (R-MI), and Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), would force EPA to deny human-caused global warming too. A vote in the full committee is expected soon, with a House floor vote not long after.

EPA continues to exempt industrial agriculture from requirements to reduce their pollution of methane, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. In 2007 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization released a study showing animal agriculture to be the number one human activity causing global warming. The FAO report said the same of almost every other environmental catastrophe, from the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico to deforestation to precipitous degradation of arable land. The think-tank World Watch subsequently argued FAO’s estimate was extremely conservative. The contribution of the United States to the problem is, as with global warming generally, disproportionate to the percentage of global population. Nontheless, the climate bills in the previous Congress also gave industrial agriculture a free ride, or at least did not treat it as a net pollution source.

You’d think the polluter lobby would be happy with the US policy trend on agriculture, but the bandwagon in House majority is to hate on EPA. So yesterday Administrator Jackson had to go testify in front of the House Agriculture committee about how EPA isn’t regulating global warming pollution from animal agriculture. Here’s her testimony.

Today Administrator Jackson testifies again, this time in front of many of the same House members who voted in subcomittee already to pass the Upton-Inhofe anti-American climate bill. I think it’s great that Jackson and Inhofe respect each other openly. You’d think the Senator would have asked Upton to hold all votes against EPA’s climate budget until after Jackson testifies in favor it. The timing is rude, and makes a fool of anyone saying today’s hearing isn’t intended solely to hate on EPA.  The least Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) could do is apologize for the committee’s ‘shakedown‘ of an EPA trying admist much grief to do its job cleaning up the US fossil fuel mess.

Kyle Ash

By Kyle Ash

Kyle Ash formerly served as Greenpeace's Legislative Policy Expert, responsible for domestic and international climate change policy analysis and campaign strategy. He has been quoted in Politico, Greenwire, the New York Times, and CNN, and was one of the most frequently quoted sources during the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

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