Ever since Republicans, and teabaggers, took control of the House of Representatives in 2011, they have revealed their corporate loyalties, hypocrisy, devotion to the dirty energy industry, religious opposition to science, and abject hatred of the people they were elected to serve. Of course, the list of who Republicans serve over the American people is endless, but those specific items were encapsulated in one amendment snuck in at the eleventh hour in the House Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act that passed with undying support of the Republican caucus.
The amendment in question was inserted by Representative David McKinley (R-WV) who continued his anti-science, hypocritical, dirty energy devotion, disregard for national security, and hatred of his constituency that he began last May. The new amendment is similar to McKinley’s budget amendment in May that forbid the Pentagon from acknowledging climate change exists despite the Department of Defense’s annual warning that addressing climate change is vital to protecting national security. The new amendment prohibits both the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Army Corps of Engineers from acknowledging or spending even one penny “to design, implement, administer or carry out specified assessments regarding climate change.”
According to McKinley, “Congress should not be spending money pursuing an ideologically driven experiment. Spending precious resources to pursue a dubious climate change agenda compromises our clean-energy research and America’s infrastructure,” McKinley is a typical Republican liar because the same spending bill forbidding the Energy Department and Army Corp of Engineers from spending to design, implement, administer, or carry out anything to do with climate change also slashed $100 million from the DOE’s budget for renewable and clean energy programs while increasing federal funding for coal and other fossil fuels. McKinley, and House Republicans, cannot have it both ways and say spending on climate change compromises “our clean energy research and infrastructure” while cutting $100-million from clean-energy research and prohibiting the DOE and Army Corps from designing or implementing infrastructure improvements to address anything regarding climate change.
The bill that passed Thursday night is a veritable dirty energy industry wish list of anti-environmental measures to thwart efforts to save energy, maintain clean air, and preserve precious water resources. McKinley’s amendment that every Republican voted for is best summarized as a House mandate that the federal government ignore climate change and the preponderance of climate science as well as severe droughts, wildfires, superstorms, flooding, and heat waves plaguing Americans, threatening national security, and harming the economy. McKinley’s remark that spending on preventing the deadly effects of climate change is a “dubious ideologically driven experiment” is typical rhetoric from the religious right’s anti-science crusade, and as blatant a display of Republican hypocrisy Americans will ever witness.
If McKinley and House Republicans reject “spending precious resources” on something as crucial as national security, energy independence, and the nation’s economic well-being, then why are they spending millions to sue the President, giving billions-of-dollars in welfare to the dirty energy industry, or $700-million to the dirty religious industry? It must be part of the Republicans’ storied “prioritizing” where they spend Americans’ tax dollars; particularly on national security. It is noteworthy that when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requested additional embassy security spending, Republicans not only rejected her request out of hand, they cut security spending by $300 million as a budget priority and then voted to “spend precious resources” for corporate tax breaks.
The Republican prohibition on acknowledging, or “spending precious resources” to address climate change is likely a continuation of the GOP’s outrage against President Obama for directing the Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon emissions in light of the National Climate Assessment reports that detailed the ongoing and extremely detrimental effects of climate change. It was less than a month ago that congressional Republicans threatened to shutdown the government if the EPA dared impose any of the President’s recommendations to curb carbon emissions driving climate change. At the end of 2103, Republicans attempted to insert an amendment in the budget banning the EPA from inspecting polluting industries or enforcing federal environmental regulations in the states to protect the dirty energy industry.
According to the Department of Energy, it is heavily involved with efforts to address climate change that Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said was “a top priority of the Energy Department.” He continued that “We develop new technologies and reduce the costs of renewables, environmental protection in natural gas production, carbon capture, and sequestration, really across the board. As global temperature rise, wildfires, droughts, and high electricity demand put stress on the nation’s energy infrastructure. And severe weather, the leading cause of power outages and fuel supply disruption in the United States is projected to worsen.” According to Republicans, the Energy Department addressing severe weather impacting America is nothing but “an ideologically-driven experiment” wasting “precious resources pursuing a dubious climate change agenda.”
Although Republicans are waging a ferocious war against any and all efforts to combat climate change, McKinley’s amendment will never get past the Senate or President Obama’s veto. One House Democrat, Mary Kaptur of Ohio said, “This amendment requires the Department of Energy to assume that carbon pollution isn’t harmful and that climate change won’t cost a thing, that’s nothing but a fantasy.” It may well be a fantasy, but it is more likely Republicans doing what comes naturally; protect the dirty energy industry. Republicans cannot deny that climate change’s detrimental effects and devastation are already wreaking havoc on the people, national security, and the economy. Especially after warnings that states suffering critical record-breaking droughts like Arizona and California are likely to run out of water within two years due to climate change.
If nothing else, the amendment forbidding the DOE and Army Corps of Engineers from addressing the devastation of climate change epitomizes what any conscious American has learned is part and parcel of what it means to be a teabagger-Republican. It is inherent rank hypocrisy, blatant adoration and devotion to the dirty energy industry, opposition to spending on national security, religious rejection of science, disregard for the nation’s economic health, and blatant contempt for the American people; all fundamental requirements to be a congressional Republican.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.