Last week, I contacted both my U.S. Senators and my U.S. Representative regarding climate change (read the petition). So far, only one — Sen. John Cornyn — has responded. I assume it’s a form letter, but this is what it said (in its entirety):
The first paragraph is, of course, pointless drivel in an effort to seem polite.
The second paragraph is political doublespeak, mixed with not-truth. “Welcome an open debate” in this context means nothing. The debate has been settled a while back on what causes climate change and how to stop it.
The first untruth comes in the second sentence of the second paragraph: “I support efforts to improve our nation’s environmental quality.” Sen. Cornyn is known to support drilling for oil in Alaska — including in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Outer Continental Shelf, allowing drilling on federally-controlled lands such as national parks, and tax incentives for oil and gas production. He has opposed any and all global warming treaties, the EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases, tax incentives for conservation efforts and green energy development, addressing carbon dioxide emissions, and factoring global warming into federal project planning.
In fact, any time any bill has come up that would work to cap global warming, he has been opposed; on any bill that’s dangerous to the environment, he has been in favor. He voted no on bills that would protect ocean/coastal/lake ecosystems or include oil and gas smokestacks in current mercury regulations.
When he says “I strongly believe that innovation and technological advances in traditional and alternative sources of energy will ultimately address our nation’s challenges more effectively than onerous government regulation”, he either misunderstands the meaning of the word “onerous” or favors profitable corporations over the citizenry. It is not onerous to protect voters from the known consequences of burning coal for electricity, nor is it onerous to cut tax dollar support for companies that have long been super-profitable.
When Cornyn added “I believe that any effort to control greenhouse gas emissions should not place the United States at a global economic disadvantage or penalize American families and workers”, he forgets that pollution and climate change are already penalizing American families and workers. We’re currently spending billions in tax dollars to dump sand along the coastlines to make up for land lost to rising sea levels — and that sand is already washing away. We’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars in health costs simply because existing pollution standards aren’t being enforced, and the economy suffers billions in losses each year due to air pollution that lower worker productivity.
My other senator is Ted Cruz. He denies that it’s even happening.
My rep is John Carter, who also denies global warming is happening. And he votes “yes” to any bill that will make giant corporations more profitable — especially oil and coal corporations — and “no” on any bill that will regulate them for safety or health.
So, I didn’t expect them to respond. What I didn’t realize is that they would make Cornyn seem liberal by comparison.