Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Opening Statement of Senator James M. Inhofe
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
Full Committee hearing entitled, "Update on the Latest Climate Change Science and Local Adaptation Measures."
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:00 AM
I must say it feels like we're back to the good old days. It may be hard to believe, but it was in February of 2009, during the height of the global warming alarmist movement, that this committee last held a hearing on global warming science. Back then we heard promises from the Obama administration of a clean energy revolution with green jobs propped up by billions in taxpayer dollars to companies like Solyndra.
What came of all those promises? The global warming movement has completely collapsed and cap-and-trade is dead and gone.
I suspect a look back over the past three years will be a little painful for my friends on the other side. In 2009 with a Democratic President, and overwhelming Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate, global warming alarmists were on top of the world - they thought they would finally reach their goal of an international agreement that would eliminate fossil fuels. Yet the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill didn't happen.
Of course, what drove the collapse of the global warming movement was that the science of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was finally exposed. For years I had warned that the United Nations was a political body, not a scientific body - and finally the mainstream media took notice:
New York Times editorial: "Given the stakes, the IPCC cannot allow more missteps and, at the very least, must tighten procedures and make its deliberations more transparent. The panel's chairman...is under fire for taking consulting fees from business interests..." (February 17, 2010)
The Washington Post: "Recent revelations about flaws in that seminal IPCC report, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are undermining confidence not only in the panel's work but also in projections about climate change.
Newsweek: "Some of the IPCC's most-quoted data and recommendations were taken straight out of unchecked activist brochures, newspaper articles..."
UK Daily Telegraph on Climategate: "The worst scientific scandal of our generation."
Just how unpopular is the global warming movement now? The Washington Post recently published a poll revealing that Americans no longer worry about global warming and one of the reasons is because they don't trust the scientists' motivations.
The IPCC has even lost the trust of the left. Andrew Revkin of the New York Times recently called for IPCC chair Pachauri to make a choice between global warming activism and leading the IPCC. They are also saying similar things about global warming alarmist James Hansen. As David Roberts of Grist acknowledged, Hansen has "become so politicized that people tend to dismiss him."
Just one look at this committee and we can see how bad things have gotten for the alarmists: today there are no federal witnesses here to testify about the grave dangers of global warming. President Obama himself never dares to mention global warming and some on the left have noticed: Bill McKibben recently criticized the President for not attending the Rio + 20 sustainability conference noting that, "Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn't even attend."
It must be very hard for my friends on the left to watch the President who promised he would slow the rise of the oceans posing in front of pipelines in my home state of Oklahoma pretending to support oil and gas.
I imagine they are trying to keep quiet because they know President Obama is still moving forward with his global warming agenda - he just doesn't want the American people to know about it.
Now what the American people don't know: President Obama is doing through his bureaucracy what he couldn't do legislatively. He is spending billions of taxpayer dollars on his global warming agenda. We've already identified $68 billion.
Today we should have a fascinating debate. I want to thank climatologist Dr. John Christy for appearing before the Committee to provide his insights. I am also looking forward to the testimony of Dr. Margo Thorning, a noted economist who will discuss the economic pain of the Obama EPA's current regulations.
We've been through this now for the past 3 ½ years and the results are clear: President Obama's green energy agenda has been a disaster. The time has come to put these tired, failed policies to rest and embrace the US energy boom so that we can put Americans back to work, turn this economy around, become totally energy independent from the Middle East, and ensure energy security for years to come.