Is EPA Trying to Skew Climate Change Study for the Obama Administration?

WASHINGTON – Republican critics of global warming theories are attempting to determine if Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is exercising undue influence on the conclusions of an upcoming climate change report from a United Nations agency.

Four GOP members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), the panel’s ranking member, are concerned that McCarthy is attempting to skew the results of a study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to reflect the Obama administration’s own apprehension about the purported warming phenomenon.

In a letter to McCarthy dated Nov. 4, the lawmakers cited evidence that the universe is actually in the midst of a 15-year hiatus in temperature increases, asserting that the finding discredits global warming “alarmists.” Yet new reports indicate the EPA is lobbying authors of the IPCC report to conclude that the reduction in warming is linked to heat being transferred to the deep ocean.

“It appears that the U.S. did not suggest an alternative conclusion that the models themselves were flawed,” the Republicans said.

Vitter further said the IPCC’s shortcomings represent “a great embarrassment for a significant number of researchers and politicians who have been demanding costly international and U.S. actions.”

“And it isn’t simply the climate models that have been inaccurate -- multiple other claims have failed over the years,” he said. “When governments can weigh in and request alterations to a scientific analysis, the message is clear that the IPCC produces a political document, not a scientific one. Such actions exacerbate the already declining reputation of the IPCC.”

The letter was signed by Vitter, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. John Barasso (R-Wyo.).

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is considered the leading international body for assessing climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988 to provide a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts. The group shared the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts, along with former Vice President Al Gore, in 2007.

In March, the IPCC is scheduled to release its latest climate assessment. A 20-page summary directed at international policy makers, leaked to an environmental blog in September, indicates the panel will conclude that global warming poses a threat to the worldwide food supply, predicting a 2 percent decrease per decade in the production of crops like corn, wheat and rice, considered dietary staples.

Such a decline has the potential to be particularly serious since the demand for foodstuffs is expected to increase 14 percent per decade as the world’s population exceeds 9 billion by 2050.