Republicans Hold yet another Hearing Attempting to Dismiss the Scientific Evidence behind Climate Change

Press Release

Date: April 15, 2015
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Environment

Today, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing ostensibly to discuss the President's recent announcement of the U.S. commitment to the United Nations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the face of the growing threat of climate change. The intended target of the U.S. is to reduce GHG emissions 26 to 28% by 2025, through cost-effective measures achievable under current laws. However, the Republican Majority failed to invite a witness from the Administration to testify at the hearing.

Democratic Members expressed serious concern about the negative impact climate change can have on the environment, public health, and long-term economic security. Conversely, Majority Members focused their questions and comments on criticizing the commitment without offering any clear alternative approach to dealing with climate change and continued to question the validity of widely-accepted climate science research. These comments ignored the history of strong economic growth that has followed environmental regulations, such as the Clean Air Act.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) said, "Welcome to the Science Committee, the last place on the planet where we question whether climate change is being caused by human activity. It seems to me that the reality of anthropogenic climate change is impossible to deny. All over the world, people are facing new challenges resulting from the rapid increase of greenhouse gas emissions: heavier precipitation events, consistently higher than average global temperatures, a warming ocean, rising sea levels, increased incidents of extreme weather, severe droughts, changes in the spread of infectious disease, changes in ocean chemistry, and other ecological and public health impacts. The scientific consensus about the contribution of humans to climate change is overwhelming. And yet here we are, once again debating -- in the Science Committee nonetheless -- whether established science is actually real. The irony is inescapable."

Rep. Lofgren entered into the record summaries of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Academy of Sciences, and Royal Society, presenting the imminent threat of climate change, the role humans have played in this phenomenon, and the consequences of inaction.