House Republicans have chosen Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), a known climate change skeptic, to head the House Science Committee’s subcommittee on Environment. Schweikert is a critic of the Obama Administration’s regulatory agenda and has said he will use his new appointment to target the regulations, according to The Hill.
“Too often, this Administration has tried to bypass Congress and impose its will on the American people through regulatory fiat,” Schweikert said in a statement Thursday. “We have a responsibility to provide a check-and-balance to ensure there is fairness and openness in the process and that taxpayers are not being subjected to onerous and unnecessarily burdensome rules and regulations.”
In his National Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce the first-ever standards on carbon dioxide emissions, in keeping with the global initiative to curb carbon pollution. Republicans have been highly critical of Obama’s directive to limit carbon emissions from new and existing power plants, calling it “a war in coal.”
Schweikert has said that he doesn’t “see the data” for climate change science, although the data from the scientific community shows a 97 percent consensus on human-caused climate change. In 2008, Schweikert said that “Understanding what part of climate change is part of a natural cycle and what part has human components is the first step. Our elected officials must be careful to react to facts and not folklore.”
The House Science Committee has “jurisdiction over all energy research, development, and demonstration,” according to its website. The Environment subcommittee is responsible for “all matters relating to environmental research; Environmental Protection Agency research and development; environmental standards; climate change research and development” as well as all activities related to weather, and scientific issues related to environmental policy, including climate change.
“The Obama Administration has presided over a massive expansion of government that has invaded every part of our daily lives and nowhere is this more evident than at the EPA,” Science Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) told The Hill. “Rep. Schweikert shares my commitment to pursue a vigorous oversight agenda.”
Rep. Smith, who was selected by House Republicans as chair of the House Science Committee in 2012, is also skeptical that humans are causing climate change.