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Posted at 4:08 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

A cool reception: EPA administator experiences climate change in the House

By Darryl Fears

EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson got a cool reception Wednesday in her first appearance before a House energy subcommittee under Republican rule. Conservatives grilled Jackson on her agency's ability to regulate greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, saying it would burden manufacturers with expensive costs.

EPA regulations would "reduce manufacturing output in Michigan by $3 billion," Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said. Last week, Upton and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) unveiled legislation that would strip the EPA of its ability to force industries to lower substantial greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming under the Clean Air Act.

The tense atmosphere was a turnabout for Jackson, who for two years testified before a House Democratic leadership that embraced climate-change science. Wednesday she faced GOP members who didn't allow scientists to testify, and who don't buy their assertion that human activity contributes to global warming.

"There is strong, credible...evidence" that it does, Jackson said in her testimony.
"Politicians overruling scientists on a scientific question - that would become part of this committee's legacy" if the legislation passes, she said. Jackson asked the committee to consider that the EPA's enforcement of the Clean Air Act "saves millions of ...adults and children" from expensive ailments that rise when "smokestacks and tailpipes" emit unrestricted amounts of pollution.

As soon as she finished, Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) started in. Congress rejected federal government regulation of greenhouse gases three times, he said. "Do you object to an up and down vote in Congress?" Whitfield asked.

"I would not presume to tell Congress what to do," Jackson answered, saying she was acting under the authority of a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that allowed that the EPA could enforce the Clean Air Act, including heavy carbon emissions.

Republicans disputed her interpretation of that ruling, and her understanding of the Clean Air Act, arguing that neither call for the regulation of "greenhouse gases" that contribute to climate change. Several members asked Jackson if the EPA took into account the number of jobs that regulating big polluters would cost.

"This hearing is about jobs," Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said. In his state, he said, 14,000 thousand miners jobs were lost to the Clean Air Act. Shimkus rejected Jackson's estimate that clean energy technology will create 1.5 million jobs, saying EPA's "regulation will skyrocket costs that will destroy jobs."

Democrats on the committee rallied to Jackson, saying that the hearing, and the legislation from Upton and Inhofe - called the Energy Tax Prevention Act - was not about jobs.

"It's underlying premise is that climate change is a hoax," said Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). "You have the power to rewrite the nation's laws, but you do not have the power to rewrite the laws of nature," Waxman said to his GOP colleagues.

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) denounced the legislation. "The American people are against this Dirty Air Act," he said. "Far too many people face a constant threat from the air they breathe."

By Darryl Fears  | February 9, 2011; 4:08 PM ET
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As usual, the warmist alarmists attempt to confuse casual readers with comments pollution and dirty air in connection with regulating carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is not dirty, causes no one breathing problems at normal concentrations, and is essential to life on earth.

If the EPA had done its job ever in the past, and was doing its job now, it would be regulating all major sources of actual pollutants like mercury, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds.

Instead they waste their resources on attempting to regulate CO2 produced by burning coal, oil, and natural gas. The CO2 is not only harmless, it is beneficial. The pollutants that they don't really bother to regulate are unconditionally harmful to people, animals, and plants. But that would be doing their actual job and isn't apparently as much fun as playing global warming games.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | February 9, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"and who don't buy their assertion that human activity contributes to global warming."

Wow, so now the view of the WashingtonPost is that human activity 'contributes' to global warming?

It's about time you got it right...saying that global warming is mainly caused by humans is wrong because CO2 is a very weak GHG.

Posted by: SoCal_Mark | February 10, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Wednesday she faced GOP members who didn't allow scientists to testify, and who don't buy their assertion that human activity contributes to global warming."

What a ridiculous statement! It was the democrats and alarmists who have silenced skeptical scientists. The climategate email proved that, in their own words!

When Lord Monckton flew in from Britain to testify in front of congress, he was barred by the democrats and not allowed anywhere near Al Gore, who did testify (lie) before congress.

Lisa Jackson censored one of her own people, Alan Carlin, when he pointed out that the science the EPA was using was flawed.

Jackson deserves jail time, so of she gets grilled by congress for her malfeasance, she is getting off light.

Posted by: changein2012 | February 10, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

These Republican foot-draggers will have ample opportunity to find out what the current state of the scientific community is soon as the AAAS (the leading body of American Academic Scientists) will be holding its annual meeting in Washington DC.

How many Republican Congressmen will take time out to inform themselves about the dangers of melting glaciers, droughts, severe storms and other costly climatic shifts? My guess is very few if any. They get their information from the oil companies and stick their fingers in their ears as does Mr. septic above. CB

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | February 10, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Sigh. The far right (and the increasingly brain-dead GOP) refuses to acknowledge a basic worldwide scientific consensus, and instead is willing to threaten the future health and well being of billions. Although it shouldn't still be necessary, I'll just remind those who would rather listen to Sarah, Rush, or Exxon than to facts, that:
-- every science academy/ national association in the industrialized world agrees that human influences on climate are real, growing, and a threat;
-- 97% of climate scientists (not TV weather jocks or ridiculous British lords) agree; and
-- to the best of my knowledge there has been no credible, peer-reviewed article in the scientific literature (again, not Weekly Standard or Fox News) that suggests otherwise.
As with any scientific enterprise, there will be on-going disagreements about details and about what precisely happens next. And we will learn more as more evidence comes in (with recent evidence of arctic ice shrinking and new global temperature records, as well as a cascade of freakish, off-the-charts storms, floods, droughts, etc, suggesting the problem is getting worse).
But to ignore this and to focus on a few industry-paid or headline-seeking skeptics is to put your head in the sand.

Posted by: tmginnova | February 10, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Here are 5 specific citations backing up my points about the existence of a worldwide scientific consensus on the quite serious human impacts on climate change:

Posted by: tmginnova | February 10, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The democrats talk about the laws of nature, but they ignore the fact that the IPCC work is not science, it is junk science adulterated to produce the desired apparent conclusions. It is the global warming advocates that show an ignorance of real science.

The EPA, in accepting without question the truly bad assumptions promulgated by the IPCC, has proven that they do not care about the laws of nature, but only the ability to regulate to satisfy a political agenda.

CO2 is a trace gas that is a benefit to the world. It is only the chance to grab power based on a harmless gas and a fraudulent crisis that they want to pursue this. They know that the world cannot simply stop using carbon, so they could have huge power, if and only if they can convince us that CO2 is harmful.

The supposed harm is only through the claimed manmade global warming, which is ridiculous in many ways, including the fact that we have been cooling for 15 years, two ocean cycles have gone to their cooling phases, and the Sun is doing a good rendition of a Maunder Minimum (coldest part of the LIttle Ice Age).

Even the EPA recognizes that their Draconian job-killing regulations will only have an effect of about 0.006 deg C—an undetectable, impossible to prove result.

So, why do all this regulation anyhow? Because of the power they derive from this. Huge, wide-reaching power. They become the driving force of the country, dwarfing the federal government and controlling our economy. Imagine being Jackson and, as a bureaucrat, you figure out that you have been handed control of the country and the economy. Talk about a power trip for an unelected official! She is now fighting for her chance to eclipse the President in the ability to wantonly alter history.

One can only hope that real science will prevail and it is recognized that regulating carbon is not required for any reason. Sure, we should always think about being efficient with out resources, but such regulation for these reasons is wrong. Furthermore, it needs to be recognized that a false crisis is not a valid means of increasing the government's cash flow (and, of course, allowing more spending)—this would be false economy, not unlike suddenly declaring bubble gum to be legal tender and regulating production.

Posted by: CharlesHigley | February 10, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

This segment of "Idiots on Parade" was brought to you by Climate-Change Skeptics of America.

Sorry, dear skeptics, but global warming is real. You may *think* there is doubt, and you sure like to repeat that idea a lot but it's simply not true. Again, global warming is real. There are people that don't think the holocaust happened, and there are probably a few people that still think the earth is flat, but you should all get together and take a trip to the library and do a little learnin'.

Posted by: bschilke | February 15, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

On the climate issue, today's Republicans remind me of the Catholic Church of the 1500s, ready to torture Galileo again for telling them the sun and not the earth was the center of our solar system.

Folks, the melting glaciers don't *care* that you know how to link to a dozen denialist web sites. They really don't. Sticking your heads further in the sand (or up your you-know-what) will help exactly as much as denying that a family member is an alcoholic will help with that problem.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 16, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

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