Rep. Lamar Smith denies using subpoena power for political purposes

Lamar Smith

The Oct. 12 article, “Rep. Lamar Smith obstructs climate action, scientific progress,” mischaracterizes my actions as Chairman of the House of Representatives Science Committee.

The subpoenas I issued to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, two state attorneys general, and eight environmental groups are not about climate change, but about the constitutional right of the Committee to protect the freedom of scientific inquiry and to ensure regulations are based on sound science, not political motivations.

State officials and others should not try to intimidate those with differing views, and it is my responsibility to ensure that everyone, regardless of their scientific opinions, has a voice.

The subpoena issued to NOAA demanded information about a study regarding the hiatus in global temperature rise for which the agency cherry-picked data to come to a predetermined conclusion — conveniently timed to further the administration’s regulatory agenda and international climate negotiations. Research conducted behind closed doors and that is inaccessible to the American public cannot be trusted. At a minimum, federal government research should be publicly available.

Regarding extreme weather, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not due to human-caused climate change. Unfortunately, administration officials and the national media regularly use hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and floods to justify the need for costly climate change regulations. The best available science, not alarmism, should be used in policymaking and informing the American people.

The citizens of the 21st District in my home state of Texas, and the entire country, deserve lawmakers who will promote a transparent government and ensure that their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent on legitimate scientific endeavors. I am proud to be doing just that.

Congressman Lamar Smith represents Texas’s 21st district in the U.S. House of Representatives and is the Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.