Once again, an argument broke out in the Senate about “extreme weather” caused by global warming.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions slammed EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy for pushing global warming regulations that will cost billions of dollars while being ignorant to whether or not extreme weather has gotten worse.
Senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee grilled McCarthy over the agency’s 2016 budget proposal which asks for $8.6 billion — $452 million more than the agency got in 2015.
The budget request includes $4 billion to reward states that go along with the EPA’s plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The EPA’s plan to regulate carbon emissions has been heavily opposed by Republicans, including Sessions.
One of the main justifications for regulating carbon emissions from power plants is that global warming is supposedly causing extreme weather — more intense droughts, larger storms, hurricanes, etc.
The only problem with the argument is that the actual data shows weather is not becoming more extreme. So, Sessions asked McCarthy about what she knew concerning the data on extreme weather.
As it turns out, the answer is not much:
Sessions: “When we go to our states, the group we have the most complaints about from our constituents—whether it’s highway people, whether it’s farmers, whether it’s energy people—is the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s an [agency of] extraordinary overreach. And you apparently are unaware of the pushback that’s occurring in the real world … So now you say that we’ve got a crisis and there are dangers out there. Let me ask you this. There was an article from Mr. [Bjorn] Lomborg … from the Copenhagen Institute. He says, along with Dr. Pielke from Colorado, that we’ve had fewer droughts in recent years. Do you dispute that?”
McCarthy: “I don’t know in what context he’s making statements like that, but I can certainly tell you about the droughts are happening today.”
Sessions: “I’m asking you what what other data you know about … world-wide data about whether we are having fewer or less droughts?”
McCarthy: “I’d be happy to provide it, but I certainly am aware that droughts are becoming more extreme and frequent.”
Sessions: “Are you aware that the IPCC has found that moisture content of the soil is, if anything, slightly greater than it has been over the last decade. It’s in their report, are you aware of that?
McCarthy: “I don’t know what you’re referring to Senator, but I’m happy to respond…”
Sessions: “Well you need to know because you’re asking this economy to sustain tremendous costs and you don’t know whether the soil worldwide is more moist or less moist.”
The questioning didn’t stop there. Sessions pressed McCarthy on another extreme weather event the Obama administration likes to point to as evidence of global warming: hurricanes.
Sessions: “What about hurricanes. Have we had more or less hurricanes in the last decade?”
McCarthy: “In terms of landing those hurricanes on land, I cannot answer that question. It’s a very complicated issue.”
Sessions: “It’s not complicated on how many have landed. We’ve had a dramatic reduction in the number. We’ve gone a decade without a hurricane [Category] 3 or above … Would you acknowledge that over the last 18 years, that the increase in temperature has been very little, and that it is well below, matter of fact 90 percent below most of the environmental models that showed how fast temperature would increase?”
McCarthy: “I do not know what the models actually are predicting that you are referring to…”
Sessions: “This is a stunning development, that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency—who should know more than anybody else in the world, who is imposing hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to prevent this climate temperature increase—doesn’t know whether their projections have been right or wrong.”
Watch the exchange here: