New Anti-Renewable Energy Amendment Passes

When Politics Trump Science

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted May 27, 2014

mck1The same congressmen who bitched and moaned about the government picking winners and losers in the energy game have just proved to be the hypocrites I've always claimed they were.

By a vote of 231-192, GOP lawmakers passed an amendment that forbids the Defense Department from spending money on renewable energy.

While military officials claim that it is in the best interests of the U.S. military to utilize more renewable energy, a bunch of politicians have decided they know better, and pushed through this ridiculous amendment.

West Virginia Representative David McKinley was the sponsor of the amendment, so let's take a look to see where he gets his bread buttered. . .

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the congressman has landed $484,379 from the mining industry and $161,000 from the oil and gas industry. So basically, more than a half million dollars from fossil fuel interests.

Four of McKinley's top five contributors from 2009 through 2014 are also coal companies, which have ponied up $151,400 for access to the congressman.

Stupid Climate Change!

The amendment also states that the Defense Department cannot spend money on matters related to climate change.

Rep. McKinley claims that climate change is a political issue, saying . .

“Our climate is obviously changing; it has always been changing. With all the unrest around the global [sic], why should Congress divert funds from the mission of our military and national security to support a political ideology. This amendment will ensure we maximize our military might without diverting funds for a politically motivated agenda.”

And here's what 16 military experts had to say in a report issued last week. . .

Scientists around the globe are increasing their confidence, narrowing their projections, and reaffirming
the likely causes of climate change. As described in Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment: “Heat-trapping gases already in the atmosphere have committed us to a hotter future with more climate-related impacts over the next few decades. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally, now and in the future.” Some in the political realm continue to debate the cause of a warming planet and demand more data. Yet MAB member General Gordon Sullivan, United States Army, Retired, has noted: “Speaking as a soldier, we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.”

Climate mitigation and adaptation efforts are emerging in various places around the world, but the extent of these efforts to mitigate and adapt to the projections are insufficient to avoid significant potential water, food, and energy insecurity; political instability; extreme weather events; and other manifestations of climate change. Coordinated, wide-scale, and well-executed actions to limit heat-trapping gases and increase resilience to help prevent and protect against the worst projected climate change impacts are required – now.

You can read this report in its entirety here.

Dirty Money is God

Now look, I don't write these words in an attempt to convince you that the analysis of climate change data on the part of the IPCC or the military is sound. However, for Rep. McKinley to introduce such an amendment shows just how full of shit most of these politicians are. McKinley's not concerned about science or objective expert analysis. His interest, like nearly all politicians is to make sure that filthy lucre continues to flow in. And to deny that this is the truth would be naïve.

It's one thing to disagree with the scientific consensus on climate change, but it's another altogether to go out of your way to ensure that renewable energy is excluded when it comes to government handouts.

Of course, if you're a regular reader of these pages, you know I have no interest in the government being involved in any of this. Whether it's oil and coal or solar and wind – these industries should be left to compete or complement on their own merits. And it's because they don't that oil and gas continue to get special treatment on an uneven playing field where dirty money is God and entrepreneurship and innovation is punished.