Video and Transcript: Sen. Inhofe Questions EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson - Part 1
February 23, 2010
Posted by: David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov
Senator Inhofe: Thank you, Madame Chairman. I've, you know, sat here for years now listening to this, and I know the distinguished Senator from Vermont wants so badly to believe that the science is settled and that anthropogenic gases cause global warming. And the science is not settled. I mean, Phil Jones is the scientist at IPCC, he's the top guy, he was the one at East Anglia that came up with - it's kind of the clearing house for all the scientists. He is the one who is under investigation right now, and he said two weeks ago, "I don't believe the vast majority of the climate scientists think the debate is over." This is a clear statement, by the guy who's in charge of all this stuff. So, you know, you can want to believe something so badly that you just go ahead and believe it, and I guess that's alright. Now, because of the short time, I want to ask two questions that require just a yes or no answer, or I don't know, or I don't want to answer - I don't care either way. One of your quotes Madame Administrator was that the EPA's view was "the scientific assessments of the IPCC represent the best reference material for determining the general state of knowledge on the scientific and technical issues of climate science." Do you still agree with that statement?
Administrator Jackson: I think it's out of context Senator. The IPCC is certainly important, it represents multiple lines of evidence and much data.
Senator Inhofe: Ok, well, this was the statement. And I want to ask you one other question. For the past several weeks, as I've noted in my opening statement, the media has uncovered significant errors and non-peer reviewed material in the IPCC's fourth assessment report, including mistakenly claiming that global warming would melt the Himalayan glaciers by 2035, endanger 40 percent of the Amazon rainforest, slash crop production by 50 percent, and others that are on this that I used in my opening statement. Now, do you still believe as you have stated before that the IPCC is the gold standard for climate change science?
Administrator Jackson: The primary focus of the endangerment finding was on climate threat risks in this country. I notice that all of the things listed on that sign are international events, so the information on the glaciers and other things doesn't weaken or undermine the science that EPA reviewed to look at the endangerment to human health and welfare in this country.
Senator Inhofe: Okay, Administrator Jackson, many in the media - and the media has been by and large almost entirely on their side of this issue all the time, cause that's where all the, that's where they can sell this stuff - but the media and the scientific community have called on the IPCC to launch a full investigation or to institute reforms on how the reviews, scientific, work. Now, I would think at least we would agree that if everyone else in the country and the magazines, like Time magazine, Newsweek, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, the Financial Times, and almost all publications in Europe, are calling on investigations and are doing investigations, would you be willing to ask your - the EPA IG - to investigate the IPCC science?
Administrator Jackson: The investigations that are on-going mirror reviews that EPA scientists did in making the endangerment finding. We are, it is incumbent upon me as Administrator to review any new information as it comes out. And if anything changes the multiple lines of evidence from many, many sources, Senator, not just the IPCC, then certainly, I would call for a review of the finding. But I have not seen that.
Senator Inhofe: I would say that no, I don't think that's totally accurate. The statement that you said in response to me in a letter, and this was, I don't have the date on it, just a short while ago...