Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Committee on Energy and Commerce – Minority Staff
Sent By:
Bill: H.R. 2028
Date: 4/30/2015

Oppose Energy and Water Appropriations Amendments Denying Carbon Pollution Causes Harm

Dear Colleague:

The flat earth society is at it again. Rep. Rothfus and Rep. McKinley plan to offer amendments to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that ask us to deny that carbon pollution causes harm. They may think that they can vote the costs of climate change away, but the American people know that climate change is all too real and already harming us.

Recently, our nation’s leading climate scientists released the National Climate Assessment, which confirmed that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is already harming communities across America. Earlier this month, the draft assessment of the “Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States,” underscored the global public health risk posed by unchecked climate change: from intensified health threats that currently exist, to new public health threats that will emerge. Scientists also know that climate change exacerbates extreme weather. Since 2011, there have been more than 40 extreme weather events in the United States that each cost at least $1 billion in damages. During that period, these extreme weather events caused $227 billion in economic losses across 44 states. And for those who lost their income, their home, or even their life in devastating droughts, floods, fires, or super storms, the costs are dramatically higher.

Since President Reagan, every Administration has required federal agencies to calculate the costs and benefits of federal regulations pursuant to executive orders. We know pollution causes harm, and these cost-benefit assessments should reflect that harm. Over the past several years, federal agencies worked together to provide a rigorous, conservative estimate of the costs of carbon pollution, which was updated last year though a public process that allowed for notice and comment. In fact, the actual costs of climate change are almost certainly higher than the federal government’s estimate, which does not include the costs of ocean acidification, for example.

In recent memory, we have seen numerous amendments to House appropriations bills that would require the federal government to assume that the cost of carbon pollution is zero. It looks like House Republicans are reading from the same playbook since they plan to do it once again with the Energy and Water Appropriations bill. Rep. Rothfus plans to offer an amendment that would block the Department of Energy from considering the costs of carbon pollution and climate change. Rep. McKinley plans to offer an amendment that does the same thing but goes one step further and also blocks funding for climate science research initiatives.

This is science denial at its worst, and it fails our moral obligation to our children and grandchildren. If we deny science and try to legislate away the mounting costs of carbon pollution, we abandon our children and grandchildren to suffer the real and serious harm from climate change.

We urge you to oppose the Rothfus and McKinley amendments mandating that carbon pollution has zero costs.


Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy and Power