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Republican Congressman Proves EarthDesk Wrong.

Here at EarthDesk we have asserted many times that the House of Representatives would spring into action against President Obama’s June 26 climate plan the moment the administration proposed new rules to support it. (See here, here, here and here.)

Representative Lamar Smith, R-TX.  Photo courtesy of Rep. Smith’s office.

We were wrong. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX.) had no intention of waiting that long. Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, announced August 1 that he had:

[I]ssued a subpoena to the EPA, forcing the agency to release the secret science it uses as the basis for costly air regulations.(Committee news release here.)

It is the first subpoena the committee has issued in 21 years.

This is an early salvo in what promises to be a long campaign to stall the Obama climate strategy, tie in knots newly appointed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and bolster the public case for a 34% cut in the EPA budget.

At the Committee meeting on the subpoena, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), ranking member and Smith nemesis, told the Chairman:

At so many turns this Congress, you’ve exhibited a baffling disregard for the scientific process and the academic and government scientific community in our country. This is just another example.

A previous example she may have in mind is the High Quality Research Act, which would only allow the National Science Foundation to fund “groundbreaking” grants “in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense,” as judged by Chairman Smith’s Committee.

Or perhaps she was thinking of the EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study Improvement Act (H.R.2850). Introduced the same day the subpoena was issued, it seems to say EPA can call fracking a threat to drinking water only if the harm is already happening and can be proven to a certainty.

EarthDesk may have incorrectly predicted the timing of the House attack, but we were on the money when we wrote of the president’s climate plan:

There is little role for Congress in his climate strategy. . . It is unlikely the House majority will sit quietly for this Obama end run.

The House is in recess for the month of August and returns for one week in September. But it looks like it may be a long, hard winter for President Obama’s climate plan and for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.