Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., went head-to-head with Environmental Protection Agency’s Gina McCarthy during a recent congressional hearing on climate change, ultimately telling the federal bureaucrat: It’s unbelievable you can’t guarantee if models have been accurate.
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing started tamely enough, with Sessions questioning the EPA’s request for a budget increase of 6 percent.
“I mean, where does the money come from?” he asked, a YouTube video of the exchange showed.
Sessions then raised the point that plenty of his constituents complain about the EPA’s “extraordinary overreach” and that he’d like McCarthy to address statistics on droughts, hurricanes and other weather events cited as evidence of climate change.
“I’m not inclined to increase your funding,” he said. “So now you say we’ve got a crisis and a danger out there. … [Yet a scientist found] we’ve had fewer droughts in recent years. Do you dispute that?”
But McCarthy couldn’t specify, AL.com reported.
“I don’t know in what context [a scientist] is in making statements like that,” she said.
An obviously frustrated Sessions jumped in and said, “Well, you need to know because you’re asking this economy to sustain tremendous costs,” the video showed.
McCarthy gave similar shoulder shrugs to other weather-related questions.
On hurricanes, McCarthy said: “I cannot answer that question. It’s a very complicated issue,” AL.com reported.
And on temperature, she said: “I do not know what the [temperature] models actually are predicting that you are referring to.”
Sessions ultimately asked: “Is the temperature increasing less than [models predict] or more than that?”
“I cannot answer that,” the video showed.
Sessions was shocked.
“This is a stunning development, that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency – who should know more than anybody else in the world, who is imposing hundreds of billions of dollars in cost to prevent this climate temperature increase – doesn’t know whether their projections have been right or wrong,” Sessions said, AL.com reported.