Democratic 2020 Hopefuls Turn Senate Hearing Into Climate Change Brawl

From The Daily Caller

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Three Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls gave a preview of how aggressive they will push global warming policies on the campaign trail during the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, sparred with Wheeler, the current EPA acting administrator, over the urgency of global warming and rolling back Obama-era regulations.

“You are the nominee to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency and you just in your opening statement did not mention the word climate change,” Sanders said during the Wednesday hearing.

“If there is not unprecedented action,” Sanders said, “there will be irreparable damage … Do you agree?”

“I would not call it the greatest crisis, no sir. I consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally,” Wheeler responded.

Sanders has not officially announced he will run for president in 2020, but it’s widely speculated he will throw his hat in the ring. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Said Climate Change Was Our ‘Biggest Crisis Of All,’ But He Was Silent When Asked About Private Jets)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks after the senate voted on a resolution ending U.S. military support for the war in Yemen on Capitol Hill in Washington

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who also sits on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, created an exploratory committee to run for president Tuesday night. However, Gillibrand was not present at the hearing.

Merkley also spent his time pressing Wheeler on global warming. The 2020 hopeful asked Wheeler how concerned he was about warming on a scale of one to 10, and then grilled Wheeler on his plan to replace the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

“How concerned are you about this devastating impact on our nation and the world?” Merkley asked before grilling Wheeler on the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule that would replace the CPP.

Merkley has not officially announced his 2020 candidacy, but is seeking to change Oregon law so he can simultaneously run for president and senate. (RELATED: Did Climate Change Bankrupt California’s Biggest Utility? There Are Good Reasons To Be Skeptical)

Senator Schumer confers with Booker after Senate Democratic weekly policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington

REUTERS/Leah Millis.

Booker accused Wheeler of “undermining the sense of urgency” to tackle global warming by rolling back regulations on emissions from power plants, vehicles and oil and gas operations.

“I believe we are moving forward on a proactive basis,” Wheeler said, referencing ACE. “My career staff tell me our proposal is going to get us a 34 percent reduction in CO2 and the Obama proposal would have gotten a 33 to 35 percent reduction.”

“I’m trying to understand what is motivating this,” Booker said. “But why are pulling back on regulations that will ultimately help us to deal with what our climate scientists say we need to do in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?”

It’s widely expected Booker will soon enter the presidential arena. Booker said in December he would “begin to think about running for president” over the holiday season.

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72 thoughts on “Democratic 2020 Hopefuls Turn Senate Hearing Into Climate Change Brawl

  1. Why can’t Wheeler just say AGW is an unproven and unprovable conjecture, not even a theory? And that CO2 is not a dangerous pollutant?

    • ““I would not call it the greatest crisis, no sir. I consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally,” Wheeler responded.”

      I take this as a back door way of pointing out that the US leads the world in reducing CO2 emissions (as if it matters), and if anyone cares about meaningful reductions they should address the issue with the rest of the globe.

          • The Alarmists have turned it into a huge issue.

            Wheeler just wanted to get through the hearing. He didn’t want to start a fight over the validity of CAGW. He would be wasting his time trying to disprove it to these people. He can do his fighting from behind his desk.

          • Nicely worded difference, Another Paul. I find it an elegant way of saying what brians365 suggested, at 10:14 pm.
            .-

          • It’s an issue, but it has nothing to do with weather or climate, IMO.

            The agenda is hidden in plain sight at the EPA behind the Greenhouse gas/CO2/global warming/climate change lie, hoax, facade. The EPA illegally and unconstitutionally issues administrative rules and regulations—without going through congress; the only body constitutionally mandated to make law—under the color of administrative “law” aimed at doing away with the right to own private property and placing control of it in the hands of a central government/agency.

            Initial EPA “rules and regulations”—clean water, clean air—applied directly to industries that were causing rivers to burn from their pollution, and were effective. But when the EPA rolled these “rules and regulations”, along with the “endangered species” act, over onto ranchers, farmers, private property owners, and citizens under threat of incarceration or exorbitant fines, the door of the Trojan Horse opened and the hidden agenda was revealed.

            And continues to date.

            Abolishing/nullifying an individual’s right to own/control his/her own property is the first shoe that has to fall in order for socialist/Marxists/communists to gain control. That done, the other shoe gradually comes down on the population’s neck because other rights flow with, and are connected to, the right to own private property.

            The democratic party is already socialist. Those at its head along with upper echelon members have taken over and have an agenda. The rest are either ignorant of their history, useful idiots who feel America’s Constitutional Republic was somehow a “mistake” or “accident”, or that they’ve somehow been “wronged” and believe socialism will bring them “happiness” and they’ll all go skipping down a yellow brick road, arm-in-arm.

            A rude awakening awaits.

            .

        • No, it is a huge issue. Not because there is a problem with CO2 emissions, but because there is a problem with grandstanding greenie/lefty politicians like Cory “Spartacus’s tears of rage” Booker pushing policies that are destructive to the economy without doing anything towards “fixing” the supposed “problem” that they claim to address.

    • Oh for because for Captian Freakin Obvious he doesn’t believe that he thinks AGW is real but just not the greatest threat facing man.

      Don’t start acting like the CAGW crowd and start conflating what you believe as the view of everyone.

      • The results of then proposed actions to combat global warming are a bigger threat than global warming.

    • If someone doesn’t say it directly soon it’s all over. Even if cooling becomes obvious there will be no turning back because of the money at stake and the refusal to admit wrong

    • Because he wants to be confirmed. If he made such an honest statement, no Democrat would vote for him and a number of Republican squishes would probably bail as well.
      Regardless, the Republicans don’t have enough votes to over come a Democrat filibuster.

  2. Mr. Andrew Wheeler would have been wise to remind them that their (Sens Sanders, Booker, Gillibrand) opinion does not matter since they intend to vote “No” anyway on politics. And this that their minority opinion matters not one wit in the US Senate. He should have told them to go hump a sand pile, IMO.

    Which is why I could never be politician.
    I would tell the commie-socialists like Booker and Gillibrand to G-F-T on national TV, and long live the constitution.

      • Exactly, however the majority still contains a few RINOs, for whom a “go hump a sand pile” response would not play well. No, he played it the way he needed to: use a lot of words that says nothing of importance and doesn’t rock the boat.

    • Furthermore, I would tell Mt Sanders, Ms Gillibrand, and Mr Booker that their climate religion is their concern.

      The 1st Amendment to US Constitution says,

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, …”

      And the left’s Climate Change bullshit is clearly the socialist-Dimocrat’s new religion.
      They take it on pure belief and faith. No data or verification of hypothesis required for them.
      Contrary science and data is dismissed. Ears deaf. Eyes closed.

      Climate change fits all definitions of a religion. Every. Single. One.
      So on that account, I’d also tell those Dimocrats to … “GTF… on their climate religion. See the 1st Amendment.”

  3. Trump’s opening to expose the climate scam is closing fast.
    US Gov should have had a Red/Blue team website with Gov paid scientists (from both sides) thrashing it out for everyone to see (full disclosure).
    China and India are the largest beneficiaries of EU and US CO2 madness.
    One Belt One Road is underwritten by white energy suicide.
    Europeans are now entering long-term poverty cycles caused by high energy costs and anti-business policies particularly over-regulation.
    Such cycles are hard to bust as important commerce leaves never to return.
    Initiative and inventiveness becomes uncommon and small business (the engine) operates in survival mode.
    Trump has provided some reprieve for the US post Obo.
    The Democrats will eventually change that and the US will join the EU in a slow descent to persistent generational poverty.
    China and India will be the new engine rooms within 100 years.
    They will have wealth; the West will have crippling debt mountains at every level.
    In the US, wealth will be concentrated.
    The foundations for that new reality are being laid by the Democrats now.
    Climate change is a key plank.

  4. Here again is question 20 from the joint Royal Society, NAS report. They state that if we totally reduced co2 emissions today temp wouldn’t drop for 1,000 years and co2 levels would remain high for many more thousands of years.
    So are these scientists correct or not? Even Nic Lewis seems to consider that co2 levels could last for a long time after temp started to drop and the ice-core data seems to show the same result.
    Anyway China, India and the non OECD couldn’t care less about it as they merrily continue to build hundreds of new coal fired power stations. Don’t these Dem donkeys understand these simple sums and who would listen to Saunders etc anyway? GEEEZZZZ give me strength.

    https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/projects/climate-change-evidence-causes/question-20/

  5. These folks are always wrong while being extremely confident in their righteousness.

    That this continues year after year, while evidence to the contrary piles up, is a mystery. Meanwhile, serious issues for the USA and the world are ignored.

  6. What I do not understand is why they do not have a direct forceful answer ready. I could put together a response which would make them look stupid for advocating for global warming or climate change or whatever they wish to call it today. Thanks to all of the post and the comments following the post and the books all of y’all have directed me to. I mean are all of their advisors stupid or lazy or what? After doing all of the reading that I have I find myself with very little patience with anyone still advocating for this crap.

  7. Quite a time ago I saw a climate debate, probably at the Congress. Take no offense if I don’t recall exactly names/places/dates.

    So there was one insisting to recognize that “more high temperature records than low minima” were recorded during that lapse. And all agreed to take official note of it.

    Then concluded that this is evidence of global warming. Which was noted as well.

    Now, temperature of something, air inclusive, relates to it’s energy content. So It’s not just bingo numbers to toss around.

    And anyone familiar with signal processing would agree that maxima/minima spikes are meaningless with respect to the actual energy content of a signal in time.

    Funny enough, no one of those concerned specialists objected to this blatant raping of signal processing, Nyquist and all the meaning behind.

    That’s how they do it. And will as no one dares his/her career to claim reality.

  8. This subject is politics Not science. fighting it now becomes a foot note.
    What needs to be done is give all candidates for 2020 the information.
    ALL. Then open the discussion.
    Give the candidates all the information of the adjustments so they can bury the argument.
    Most of us have been here a number of years and have life experiences and knowledge that most politicians do not. Nor their handlers.
    It is going to be an education process.
    For now get the right people in the right places.

    micheal

  9. Someone once commented on this website that even if all the fossil fuel in the world was burnt that the CO2 level would level off at 600ppm.
    I also seem to remember that as the response of temperature to CO2 is logarihmic that we are getting to the point where the response to increasing CO2 is flattening out.
    Are these points correct and are we arguing about a non-problem?

    • I think the figure is about 800ppm if we burned all the fossil fuels at one time. Which would about double the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from the current 409ppm. We don’t know how much additional warmth this would add to the atmosphere since we haven’t nailed that particular parameter down yet. The number might be zero, or it might be 1.5C per doubling, or 3.0C, or 4.5C, some say 9.0C, but we really dont know. It is probably somewhere between 1.5C and zero. The higher numbers have no support.

      • I pretty much agree with you, most likely range is 0-1.5. However I have seen no convincing proof that ECS can’t be <0, a negative number IOW, once all the feedbacks have their feedback.

  10. 3 democrats against one Republican.

    if their only topic is “Climate change” the 3 will kill each one another.

    move ahead, nothing to see here.

  11. If high stakes research such as those involving medicines produce 50% of papers that are not reproducible.

    Are we to conclude that all research scientists involved in published research are either: corrupt, incompetent or lazy?

    What are we to make of climate scientists involved in published research? Are they in any of the categories above?

    Why would you accept someones findings if they refuse to publish their data and methods freely?

  12. Should ask sanders to provide a name.
    A name of one person to ever have so much as their hair ruffled by do2 induced ”climate change or one building ever damaged by co2.

    Then give bernie a list of 6 million dead at the hands the national socialists.

    Or the yearly holocaust of millions upon millions of unborn children of socialism.

  13. “How concerned are you about this devastating impact on our nation and the world?” Merkley asked…

    This is from shutting down the so called Clean Power Plan.

    The answer should be, not at all, since it will have no material effect on the total amount of global emissions. It won’t materially even effect US emissions.

    Even if CO2 emissions are driving a catastrophic warming, closing the Clean Power Plan will have no effect on it. Keeping it going will have no effect on it either. Its an expensive irrelevancy.

    Notice, yet again, the desire of the Global Warming movement to take actions which, if their theory is right, will be very expensive but have no effect at all on what they claim to believe is the problem.

    The flip side of this is their refusal to advocate what, if they really believed it, they should think is necessary and effective to reduce global emissions.

    • I can tell you from living here that ‘Jeff Merkley of Oregon’ is the one of the biggest hack-idiots in politics and if you’re not one of HIS, he flat does not represent you.

  14. He should say something like:
    “Senators, when you do a full end to end analysis, taxing carbon and, raising electricity prices kills jobs in America. These jobs go overseas where the use coal fired plants to provide the electricity. Thus there will be no net reduction in CO2. Please explain this to your constituents.”

    “Oh, and Senators, before you tell me that China and India are building lots of wind and solar, in the same breath tell us how many NEW coal plants they are building.”

    “Finally, Senators, if climate change is such a problem, please tell Americans how each of you Senators has moved into a small house, heated by solar, and cooled by electricity from solar panels. Furthermore, tell us how you all now use public transit to get around, and how you have given up ALL non-governmental use of airplanes, and cut your government use of air travel by 50%.”

    “If you are not cutting your own emissions Senators, there is no crisis, and you should not be asking the American people to make sacrifices you are not willing to make yourselves.”

  15. A good answer with political “LEGS” would be to point out that:

    USING THE AGW’ers OWN NUMBERS, the $30 Trillion to $50 Trillion planned expenditures (born ONLY by the West) would only result in about 0.1 C reduction in the projected temperature rise .

    Then ADD to that statement:

    So far the Models have predicted over twice the actual warming, so that BOTTOM LINE warming reduction (after spending all those $Trillions) would actually only be an undetectable 0.05 C reduction.

    INSTEAD he said NOTHING about ANYTHING…very frustrating.

    • Yes, exactly, to your first point.

      And the unanswerable question still keeps coming up, why do these guys keep advocating doing things which, if their own account of the problem is true, will have no effect on it whatever?

    • INSTEAD he said NOTHING about ANYTHING…very frustrating.

      as frustrating as it is to those of us watching at home, it’s the political answer one has to give in order to get through the dog and pony show and actually get confirmed to the position that he’s been nominated for. saying lots of words that don’t actually mean or say anything is how the game is played in these types of hearings.

  16. From the article: “It’s widely expected Booker will soon enter the presidential arena. Booker said in December he would “begin to think about running for president” over the holiday season.”

    I wonder if Cory Booker is going to have his imaginary friend, T-Bone, run as his vice president?

    I know Cory gets a lot of advice from T-Bone so I’m sure he will at least be a close advisor if Cory can’t manage to get him nominated as vice president. T-Bone is in for the longhaul no matter what position he occupies.

    I’m imagining what Trump would make out of Cory’s imaginary friend. It wouldn’t be pretty. Cory, you should probably stay on the sidelines and not subject yourself to Trump’s abuse over your imaginary friend.

    • I wonder if Cory Booker is going to have his imaginary friend, T-Bone, run as his vice president?

      I don’t know about that, but considering how crowded the Democrat presidential candidate field is going to be, if he runs, that will be his true “I am Spartacus” moment.

      Bernie: “I am a Democrat candidate for president!”
      Clinton: “I am a Democrat candidate for president”
      Creepy Porn Lawyer: “I am a Democrat candidate for president!”
      Beto: “I am a Democrat candidate for president!”
      Warren: “I am a Democrat candidate for president!”
      Booker: “I am a Democrat candidate for president!”
      And many more: “I am a Democrat candidate for president”

      • It will be fun watching 20 or 30 Democrat presidential hopefuls up on stage tearing each other apart.

        With that many people it’s going to be hard to get them all on the stage at one time.

        Everyone of them thinks they can beat Trump. They all believe the leftwig propaganda and think what they see on the Leftwing News Media represents reality. What they really see on the Leftwing News Media is Trump Derangement Syndrome and they are all ate up with it to the point that they can’t tell what is real from what is leftwing propaganda.

        The 2020 elections will tell the tale. Everyone wll get a big dose of reality then.

        The reality I see is Trump is strong and getting stronger. It’s significant that Trump has risen to 50 percent approval with Hispanics.

        The Democrat reality is that Trump is weak and getting weaker. That’s why so many of them are eager to jump in the presidential race.

        One of these two realities is wrong. Time will tell.

        • “To Tell the Truth” only had 3 people claiming the “I am …” title, whereas Spartacus had multitudes all claiming the “I am …” mantle. Besides which, Booker wouldn’t know how to tell the truth, so it doesn’t really fit with the tears of rage man.

  17. Senate hearings have devolved away from their real purpose and have become simply a forum for Democrat Senators to put on performances designed to fire up their base and increase their favorability rating for the next election.
    The Kavanaugh hearings Kavanaugh hearings were a farce and showed the Democrats nothing is too absurd in their behavior.

    The only good news is that regardless of your politics you have to admit that so far the Republicans have not used this tactic.

    To this point, in their current strategy of DJT obstruction, these loudmouths were never going to vote for the candidate anyway, and any thing he said to contradict their talking points would have been used as justification for their negative votes (again, see the aftermath of the Kavanaugh hearing; with the help of the MSM – the Repubs were evil people who refused to believe the victim.)

    Let’s wait for his actions once confirmed (that should be a certainty unless he does something stupid like arguing back) and then make judgements. Better yet, after he is in office make sure he and his staff are flooded with objective information on the realities of this issue.

  18. This is grand political theater driven by money greed and the prospect of more political power from that money. It will not stop or slow down even with global cooling.

    Basically, Dems sense the end of deficit financing methods of their regular playbook and need to develop another money source of equal magnitude, i.e. very large.

  19. Apparently Democrats are trying to MANUFACTURE a crisis over global warming, to use as a hammer over EPA regulatory issues, which is irrational since most of the proposed regulatory changes has little to do with climate change and a lot to do with health and contamination issues.

    They center most of their caterwauling on emissions, on which America is already a leader in emission reductions, thanks to changes in the use of fuels for power generation.

  20. Wheeler knows this line of questioning is done all for the cameras. He took a kind of middle ground just to deflect but was sure not to give theses grand standers any more incentive to continue on .

  21. A bunch of idiots, posturing on a podium, arguing about how much worse THEY are going to screw us.

    And the hell of it is, half the country will vote for them out of hand.

    • A significant fraction of the population has been raised to believe that the purpose of government is to tax other people, and give the money to them.

      • I honestly think a large portion have simply been taught THIS side are the ‘good guys’ and it doesn’t go any deeper than that.

        Give them something they like and tell them it’s Trump’s, and they’ll spit it out.

  22. “Climate” or AGW or whatever polls very low in public interest.
    Let the Dems go all out on this issue.
    It may rile up their true believing base, but other than the primaries, I don’t think it will win them any disputed elections.

  23. Appeasement now will allow Mr. Wheeler to show up with his future regular testimony before the committee, and handle them like Alan Greenspan,
    “I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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