GOP Plans Attacks on EPA, Climate Scientists



Photo credit: eli.pousson via Flickr/CC BY-SA

The LA Times just ran a good -- if frightening and totally unsurprising -- piece about the GOP's post-election plans in the environmental arena. Mostly, it plans to try to burn that entire arena to the ground. Republican party leaders say that they plan on attacking not only the EPA and its plan to regulate the nation's largest greenhouse gas polluters, but also climate scientists who say that global warming is a problem. Here's the Times: (emphasis mine)

If the GOP wins control of the House next week, senior congressional Republicans plan to launch a blistering attack on the Obama administration's environmental policies, as well as on scientists who link air pollution to climate change.

The GOP's fire will be concentrated especially on the administration's efforts to use the Environmental Protection Agency's authority over air pollution to tighten emissions controls on coal, oil and other carbon fuels that scientists say contribute to global warming.

In addition, GOP leaders say, they will focus on what they see as distortions of scientific evidence regarding climate change and on Obama administration efforts to achieve by executive rule-making what it failed to win from Congress.

The gist of this plan is pretty straightforward:

First, ignore the general issue of climate change, or deny that it's an issue at all. Then, continue embracing status-quo policies that favor the fossil fuel industry. Finally, attack the EPA in the name of deregulation, and attack climate scientists in the name of an event that's been cleared of any wrongdoing by 5 independent investigations. Yes, the GOP plans on going after the long-exonerated scientists associated with the so-called Climate Gate affair.

By attacking the EPA and climate scientists simultaneously, the GOP can continue to conflate both the politics and science of global climate change, and attempt to discredit both in one fell, misinformation-stuffed swoop.

The attacks on the EPA could have been attributed to a difference in opinion on how to handle policy, but not so much with what amounts to an attack on the scientific process. And talk about beating a dead horse -- these climate scientists have been exonerated so many times now that I'm losing count.

The GOP's stance seems to be solidifying around a pretty frightening ideology: That climate change isn't being caused by man, and even if it was, that we shouldn't attempt to address it. Decades worth of scientific evidence, of course, points to the contrary -- and a consensus of 97% of the world's climate scientists see things differently.

More on GOP and Climate Change
Dick Cheney Ushered in Era of GOP Climate Denial: NY Times
Halloween Was Not Scary Enough. Let's See If Tomorrow's Treats Do The Trick.
Why Nearly Every GOP Senate Candidate is a Climate Skeptic
Why Are The Republicans The World's Only Major Political Party Still Denying Climate Change?

Tags: Congress | Global Climate Change | United States