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Inhofe Opening Statement: An Update on the Science of Global Warming and its Implications, July 22, 2008
July 22, 2008

Contact: Marc Morano 202-224-5762

marc_morano@epw.senate.gov 

Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797

matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov 

Opening Statement of Senator James Inhofe

Senate Environment and Public Works Full Committee

An Update on the Science of Global Warming and its Implications

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 

Madame Chairman, I am very disappointed to see that this Committee is once again beginning its deliberations on global warming in the wrong manner.  Rather than focusing on substantive issues that would be helpful to the debate on global warming legislation, this Committee is choosing to engage in more political theater with a predetermined outcome.  The rushed process and the complete lack of understanding of the policy implications of the Lieberman Warner doomed it from the start. Opposition to the bill was not limited to Republicans, as nearly 30% of Senate Democrats refused to support the bill. 

If this Committee were serious in undertaking efforts to draft global warming policy rather than score political points, it should be focusing its efforts in a much more methodical and deliberative manner that acknowledges the complexity of the issues surrounding any mandatory emission reduction policy.  Regardless of my own position on this topic, the Committee should be exploring issues to help build a record on how to draft a cap and trade system, the level of technology currently available to achieve reductions, how to allocate credits, how to design an auction system, how to create a domestic offset program, what the international impacts will be on trade and particularly exports, how to effectively contain costs through a transparent mechanism, and the list could go on. 

Instead we are here to politicize the internal deliberative process of the Administration under the guise of an update on the science of global warming hearing. While I welcome the opportunity to discuss the latest science on global warming, doing it in this heavily political setting with a predetermined outcome focused on internal deliberations of the Executive is not the right venue for such discussion.  It is my view that regardless of Administration, the President acting through the entire executive branch is fully entitled to express his policy judgments to the EPA Administrator, and to expect his subordinate to carry out the judgment of what the law requires and permits.   It can be argued that the “unitary Executive concept” promotes more effective rulemaking by bringing a broader perspective to bear on important regulatory decisions.  It also enhances democratic accountability for regulatory decision-making by pinning responsibility on the President to answer to the public for the regulatory actions taken by his Administration. Therefore, I consider this debate over censorship within the Administration to be a nonissue.  All administrations edit testimony and all documents go through interagency review before any final agency action. I cannot support any investigations that could have a chilling effect within the deliberative process of the Administration, and cause future career and political employees from refraining from an open and honest dialogue.  

Regarding the real subject of the hearing, it is no secret what my views on the science of man-made global warming are. I welcome Dr. Roy Spencer, who will be updating the Committee on his recent theoretical and observational evidence that climate sensitivity has been overestimated, as well as giving his perspective on White House involvement in the reporting of agency employee’s work.  

I am also happy to report that there are several updates that are worth noting for purposes of the record for this hearing. Numerous peer-reviewed studies, analyses and prominent scientists continue to speak out to refute many conclusions of the IPCC. I have documented in the past how the consensus on the “science is settled” debate has been challenged, and in many cases, completely refuted, from the hockey stick, to the Stern Review, to the IPCC backtracking on conclusive physical links between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity.  

Just this past week, a major new study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics that finds worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response' to oceans,  and not carbon dioxide. There have also been recent challenges by Russian scientists to the very idea that carbon dioxide is driving Earth’s temperature and a report from India challenging the so-called “consensus.” The Physics and Society Forum, a unit within the American Physical Society, published a new paper refuting the IPCC conclusions where the editor conceded there is a ‘considerable presence' of global warming skeptics within the scientific community.

More and more prominent scientists continue to speak out and dissent from man made global warming. In June, the Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever, declared himself a “skeptic” and said “global warming has become a new religion.” Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology also dissented in 2008. As a scientist I remain skeptical” of climate fears, Dr. Simpson said in February of this year. In June, a top UN IPCC Japanese Scientist, Dr. Kiminori Itoh, turned on the IPCC and called man-made global warming fears the “worst scientific scandal in the history.” In addition, more evidence of challenges to global warming occurred when two top hurricane scientists announced they were reconsidering their views on global warming and hurricanes.                     

As the normal scientific process continues to evolve and models continue to improve, there have many more instances documented that are positive developments, which should be embraced, rather than ridiculed or immediately attacked by the media or policymakers.  It is my hope that as more and more of these researchers speak out, scientific objectivity and integrity can be restored to the field of global warming research.                                                

 

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July 2008 Press Releases

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