The EPA Chief Goes to Congress

Gina McCarthy, the director of the EPA, appeared before a House committee full of Republican know-nothings with wallets made fat by the oil and gas industry and somehow managed not to scream “you’re all a bunch of fucking idiots” as they peppered her with inane questions and indecipherable diatribes.

Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican and former chairman of the committee who is so close with the oil industry that he apologized to BP’s CEO for the government daring to fine the company for the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill, started off by telling McCarthy: “I could really have some fun with you, but you’re too nice a person.” He proceeded to have fun with her anyway, repeatedly demanding to know whether she had seen any actual signed documents from the president’s agreement with the Chinese government to limit carbon emissions. His staff, he said, had told him that no such documents actually existed, an omission that he cast in conspiratorial tones. “If it’s a signed agreement, let’s see it,” he said. “You don’t just stand up and say, ‘We have this agreement’ and hug. What you have is a press release, a photo op.” McCarthy said that as she understood it, the agreement was a serious one at “the highest levels of both countries … expressing both of their commitments to this goal,” regardless of whatever paperwork was signed. That didn’t satisfy Barton. “I can take you over to the National Archives and show you the signed Declaration of Independence. I can show you lots of documents that have signatures on them,” he said. “You and I can agree that I’m not going to go out and rob a bank. You can agree that you’re not going to rob a bank. We can both hold a press conference: ‘We’ve agreed that we’re not going to rob a bank.’ ”

That’s a sitting congressman who said that, for crying out loud.

2. Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia told McCarthy that she was, effectively, responsible for an epidemic of mental illness. “I keep seeing the EPA putting in another regulation on top of another regulation,” he said. “What it’s led, by these overregulation in rural America, it’s led to people, their well-being, their mental health, is all being affected by it. I think we’re having some depression in areas around the county because of the threats of regulation and what it’s doing to jobs … I really believe it’s directly attributed to the regulatory body with it (sic).”…

In case you wondered, McKinley doesn’t believe in man-made climate change. “You continue to issue more regulations even though the models say it doesn’t work with it,” he told McCarthy. “You have a model that says how [carbon dioxide] impacts the temperatures around the globe. We know from the standards that that doesn’t work.”

Anyone have any idea what the fuck he’s babbling about? Because he certainly doesn’t.

Even the more cordial of the questioners made clear that they, too, weren’t buying this whole anthropogenic climate change thing. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the third-ranking Republican in the House, told McCarthy, “I know the president loves talking about global warming—and they’re canceling flights all around the country due to snow blizzards.”

What are you complaining about, Rep. Scalise? The snow makes it white, just the way you like it. Seriously, this is why I could never be a politician or someone answerable to politicians. I have no patience for such idiocy. I’d want to ask Joe Barton who he fucked to get his job, but the answer is obvious: The entire country.

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  • John Pieret

    “You continue to issue more regulations even though the models say it doesn’t work with it,” he told McCarthy.

    Um … maybe he means that the new regulations are not compatible with what the climate models say we have to do to avoid devastating AGW?

    “You have a model that says how [carbon dioxide] impacts the temperatures around the globe. We know from the standards that that doesn’t work.”

    I … uh … think he is trying to say that the climate models are not accurately predicting temperatures given the amount of CO2 that is being release.

    I might have been able to do better but I left my Universal Idiot Translator in my other pants pocket.

  • Chiroptera

    Were there a lot of times when McCarthy was strangely silent and looking down? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I’d have spent a lot of time counting to ten before responding.

  • raven

    somehow managed not to scream “you’re all a bunch of fucking idiots”

    I wouldn’t have been able to do it.

    I really have nothing but contempt for people who want to wreck our environment for their personal gain. It’s theft from the many for the benefit of the ultra-rich.

    1. Only an idiot wants to live in a garbage dump. Earth is our home.

    2. Only an idiot wants to destroy their life support system.

    We are on a large spaceship. The environment is our life support system. Wreck that and we will all be sick at the least. Some deep time ecologists think we have overshot the sustainable carrying capacity of the earth. If they are right (a big unknown if right now), In a century or three billions could die in a slow motion dieback.

  • raven

    The EPA and environmentalism has been one of the stunning successes of the 20th century.

    1. The river up north, when I was a kid was biologically dead from pollution. Fish couldn’t live in it and you wouldn’t dare swim in it.

    It’s been cleaned up long ago. It now supports fish including a salmon run. It’s a popular recreation spot for swimmers, canoes, and kayakers.

    2. The air in Los Angeles in the late 1070’s was smog squared. The sky was frequently brownish orange and in one day, there would be a film of oil on your car. Smog alerts were common and moving about on smog alert days, you could feel your lungs complaining.

    It’s gotten a lot better now, even though even more people live there.

    3. Polls up until recently showed that the EPA, and a safe and healthy environment have been popular with most Americans. Evidently, enough people remembered the bad old days to appreciate what we fixed. These days, I don’t know but nothing would surprise me.

    Add it to the ever growing To Hate list of the christofascists. The earth and the environment.

  • raven

    Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia told McCarthy that she was, effectively, responsible for an epidemic of mental illness….

    West Virginia is, AFAICT, an environmental disaster and National Sacrifice Area. So are Louisiana and several other fossil fuel states.

    They had that big chemical spill a year or so ago that polluted a lot of drinking water supplies. A lot of the groundwater is contaminated. And they just had a big oil train derail and burn.

    PS I know someone whose family got rich mining coal in West Virginia. Of course, they don’t actually live in West Virginia. They live in a near pristine low mountain valley near the Pacific ocean. Makes sense. If you have money, why would you live in the place you messed up to get it?

    Ed. Anyone have any idea what the fuck he’s babbling about?

    He’s not babbling. He is lying.

  • caseloweraz

    OT: Apparently we lost Leonard Nimoy (aka Mr. Spock) today.

    “On that day I shall mourn.”

  • caseloweraz

    Someone should ask Barton if he’s seen the written agreement, signed by John Boehner, to tie HSD funding to the House Republicans’ protest of the president’s action on immigration.

  • llewelly

    These horrible people are literally wrecking our world for money.

    And their argument is “it snowed in Februrary” .

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    llewelly “These horrible people are literally wrecking our world for money.”

    To be fair, money is pretty sweet.

  • raven

    Why Alaska Is Warmer Than the Continental U.S. | The Weather Channel

    The Weather Channel‎ – 2 days ago

    Numerous record highs and warm lows have been set across the state, including widely scattered cities as Bethel, Bettles, Cold Bay, King …

    While it is snowing and cold in the eastern and central USA, Alaska and the West Coast have been setting record highs for the winter months.

    That GOP representative somehow forgot to mention this.

    PS The cold and snowing winters might be the new normal for the lower USA. The cold that used to stay bottled up in the arctic isn’t bottled up any more and it runs down to Minneapolis and Boston. Warmer air from down here moves up to replace it.

    No one knows. The best guess is one climatologist who says we need at least 10 years worth of data to figure it out.

  • dugglebogey

    Seriously. “Is there an adult home that I could talk to?”

  • Michael Heath

    Ed asks after reading AGW denying Rep. David McKinley:

    Anyone have any idea what the fuck he’s babbling about? Because he certainly doesn’t.

    Babbling is effectively what Richard Lindzen and Willie Soon do. If the leaders of a movement are incoherent, then we should expect no better from their sheeple.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Michael Heath : Although I think Soon will soon be gone

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/02/21/ask-not-for-whom-the-bell-tolls-it-tolls-for-soon/

    At least.

  • StevoR

    I’d want to ask Joe Barton who he fucked to get his job, but the answer is obvious: The entire country.

    Forget the country try the whole planet!

    Also seconding what raven sad in #3 & 4 here.

    *****

    “The Earth should not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own “national security” to be paramount above all other considerations. There are no nations! There is only humanity. And if we don’t come to understand that right soon, there will be no nations, because there will be no humanity.”

    – Isaac Asimov, Pages 419-421, ,‘ I Asimov : A memoir’, Bantam Books, 1995.

  • StevoR

    @10. raven :

    PS The cold and snowing winters might be the new normal for the lower USA. The cold that used to stay bottled up in the arctic isn’t bottled up any more and it runs down to Minneapolis and Boston. Warmer air from down here moves up to replace it.

    Yes indeed we’ve known or at least strongly suspected this for a while now :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_lYbp2zxVg&index=40&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33

    While it is snowing and cold in the eastern and central USA, Alaska and the West Coast have been setting record highs for the winter months.

    Meanwhile here in Adelaide, South Australia, today it was 35 degrees – Celsius. That’s 95 fahrenheit. In Alice Springs up in our land’s red centre near Uluru and Kata tjuta it got to 41 c (105). Elsewhere around the planet it has been equally hot or hotter. Also colder in many spots but generally, well look at the global pattern and trends not just over the snapshot of a single day or weeks weather but where the graph is heading and where its been :

    http://phys.org/news/2015-02-years-above-average-temperatures-climate.html

    It’s not rocket science although rocket scientists are delivering us the necessary data and observing and helping us understand it all. Check out for instance the NASA climate page(s) on this ..