J.J. Goldberg

GOP House Bill Tells Feds To Cut Climate Research

By J.J. Goldberg

  • Print
  • Share Share

Today, Tuesday, April 1, a day after the United Nations released its latest and most disturbing climate change report (text), the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is due to vote on a bill ordering the federal government’s top weather and climate research organization to spend more time on forecasting weather and storms and less studying climate change.

The bill, the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act, H.R. 2413, was introduced last June by GOP Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma. It’s aimed at changing the priorities of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

As reported by The Hill, Bridenstine

introduced his bill last year after tornadoes hit his home state. Those storms led him to argue on the House floor the government spends too much on climate change research and not enough on developing weather forecasting tools to predict tornadoes and other events.

His bill does not explicitly kick the government out of the business of studying climate change. But it does say NOAA must “prioritize weather-related activities, including the provision of improved weather data, forecasts, and warnings for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy, in all relevant line offices.”

The bill drew several Democratic cosponsors (list) after some compromise language was negotiated in committee.

Bridenstine, a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, introduced a second climate-related bill last week, together with Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz, in which they call for an “embrace” of “the Great American Energy Renaissance.” They’re saying it will “empower the private sector to create good-paying, American jobs and spur economic growth by harnessing our nation’s energy resources and removing federal impediments to energy exploration, development and trade.” It’s a doozy.

Among other things, the bill would bar federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing or fracking; exclude greenhouse gases from EPA regulation; approve the Keystone pipeline; stop EPA regulations “that will adversely impact coal and electric power plants”; open up ANWR, the controversial Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, for oil drilling; expand drilling offshore, on Indian reservations and in the Alaskan oil reserve, and much, much more.

The Republicans who control the House science committee including some of Capitol Hill’s most outspoken climate deniers. The chairman, Texas Republican Lamar Smith, wrote a Washington Post op-ed last year warning against “overheated rhetoric” on climate, claiming that “there is a great amount of uncertainty associated with climate science” (the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last fall said the level of uncertainty on the basic facts was down to 5%, and repeated studies have found that 97% of climate scientists agree) and that “U.S. emissions contribute very little to global concentrations of greenhouse gas.” (In fact America is the world’s second largest emitter after China, with 19% of the global total in 2008 according to EPA figures.)

And of course, committee member Paul Broun of Georgia, a physician, became the poster-child for climate deniers everywhere with his famous observation, caught on video on September 27, 2012, at a sportsmen’s banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia, that “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show has details on legislative measures in three GOP-run states, Nebraska, Virginia and North Carolina, to block climate research — or, in North Carolina’s case, actually bar the state from considering climate-induced sea level rise in shoreline planning discussions.

Watch Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.): “Lies straight from the pit of Hell”:

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: fracking, Ted Cruz, Paul Broun, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve, EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, Jim Bridenstine, Lamar Smith, NOAA, ANWR

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.