More than two months ago, Weld contributor Tom Gordon wrote the members of the Alabama congressional delegation, basically asking them if they think climate change exists, what is causing it, and what can be done about it.
Gordon’s letter was prompted by the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, defined in an article in the March 2015 issue of National Geographic as “hundreds of scientists operating under the auspices of the United Nations.”
The article, by veteran Washington Post science writer Joel Achenbach, states that the report, issued last year, “repeated louder and clearer than ever the consensus of the world’s scientists: The planet’s surface temperature has risen by 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 130 years, and human actions, including the burning of fossil fuels, are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the warming since the mid-20th century.”
That assessment is not shared by many members of Congress, and Alabamians have been among the dissenting voices.
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby was the first to reply to Gordon’s letter, and Weld published his letter in late April. Freshman U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, who represents the 6th Congressional District, which includes most of Jefferson County, responded in a letter dated May 18.
Weld is publishing the text of Palmer’s letter in full here. Weld will publish the climate change thoughts of the other Alabama congressional delegation members when and if they reply.
Thank you for contacting me regarding climate change. I appreciate your input on this important issue.
On March 31st, The Obama Administration submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26-28 percent by 2025.
Disagreements arise not over whether the climate is changing, but why these changes are happening. While many have asserted that human activity is the driving force behind climate change, this is far from “settled science”. Historic fluctuations in climate have been similar to or greater than what we have observed in the last 50 years, and the climate models used to justify government action have routinely failed to reproduce observed results or accurately predict future changes.
Despite this uncertainty, the Obama Administration has proposed sweeping rules and regulations designed to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The centerpiece of the President’s proposal is the Clean Power Plan, which would have profoundly negative consequences for the nation and the state of Alabama. Estimates suggest that the Clean Power Plan could increase electricity costs by as much as 12 percent and could have compliance costs in excess of $400 billion dollars.
I am strongly opposed to granting the EPA sweeping authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and will work to ensure that we continue to take advantage of our abundant natural resources. Thank you again for taking the time to share your views. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of any assistance.
Member of Congress