By Jennifer Montazzoli
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified for over two hours at a House Science Committee hearing June 22 on Ensuring Sound Science at EPA. Not much has changed since the last hearing on this topic in July 2015. The committee revisited the scientific unreliability of the EPA’s views of climate change, while McCarthy stuttered in response to the committee members’ demonstration of the facts.
Several members of the committee offered convincing evidence against the EPA’s claims, which often left Administrator McCarthy looking as foolish as the EPA’s scientifically unsupportable proposals. Throughout the intense questioning about climate change issues, the “Clean Power” Plan, and the Waters of the U.S. rule, McCarthy repeatedly stressed the importance of protecting the health of American children and the wellbeing of future generations.
After being questioned by Representative Ami Bera (D-Calif.) on the effects of climate on human health, McCarthy claimed that the EPA saves children from asthma and that EPA programs have reduced air pollution by 70%. Nevertheless, Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.) explained that while ozone levels may contribute to the occurrence of asthma, there are other factors that cause asthma including dust, mold, eggs, preservatives in foods, and pollen. He also noted that while ozone levels have gone down, asthma has continued to go up. Mr. Abraham cast serious doubt on McCarthy’s theory that reducing ozone levels will decrease childhood asthma. He finally asked McCarthy to be honest to families through accurately reporting what will cause and prevent asthma. Perhaps the EPA should do some scientific research before assuming their regulations will guarantee health improvement.
In response to McCarthy’s assertion that EPA regulations do not kill jobs, Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) showed a video in which several coal-mining families told their stories of what they suffered when the Obama administration’s war on coal destroyed their jobs. Losing your job poses major health risks for families. Mr. Palmer also explained that higher utility bills as a result of the EPA’s rules means that “households are forced to make choices that carry serious health risks” such as foregoing medical and dental care.
Speaking to a much friendlier audience at the annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, DC the next day, Administrator McCarthy returned to her claim that EPA rules do not cost jobs or harm the economy. She said, “If someone’s making that old, tired argument that what’s good for the environment is bad for the economy, can you remind them that that’s so yesterday?” Environment and Energy News PM reported that the audience reacted with laughter to her sarcastic question.