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At a hearing today of the Water, Oceans, and Wildlife subcommittee (WOW) of House Natural Resources Committee, leftist California Rep. Mike Levin used his five minutes to attack Kevin Dayaratna, Ph.D., one of two witnesses invited by the Republican minority.
It was quite something, but typical of the way the eco-left operates these days: Ignore the substance of arguments you don’t like or can’t rebut, and start smearing who is delivering them.
Here follows the relevant transcript, more commentary, and what a Republican member of the committee did in response.
Levin: So please answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Do studies funded by fossil fuel money have an agenda?
Dayaratna: I’m sorry, Congressman. I cannot answer that question because …
Levin [interrupting]: I think it’s clear your organization has an agenda.
Dayaratna: … it doesn’t have anything to do with my research. Congressman, our financial records are available online and you can look at them all you want …
Levin [interrupting]: I’ve researched them, extensively as a matter of fact.
Dayaratna: I encourage you to get to the meat at hand, which is what these policies are ..
Levin [interrupting]: I encourage you to answer my question, sir. Does your organization have an agenda?
Dayaratna: Does my organization have an agenda?
Levin: Yes. Specifically your conclusions. Are they based on objective evidence or perhaps an agenda.
Dayaratna: I am an independent scholar …
Levin [interrupting]: funded by the fossil fuel money …
Dayaratna: Congressman, I am an independent scholar within the Heritage Foundation. And my work can be scrutinized. It has been published both at Heritage as well as …
Levin [interrupting]: If you follow the money …
Dayaratna: … in the peer-reviewed literature.
Levin: … It is clear, doctor, that you have an obvious, blatant agenda.
Dayaratna: I have no agenda besides doing high-quality research. [Shakes head in exasperation as Levin interrupts again]
Levin [interrupting]: And yet decades of experienced people before you at the EPA who used that very same data to calculate a true social cost of carbon reached an entirely different conclusion, including one of our past administrators of the EPA who I beg will differ with you, sir, and your false conclusion.
Dayaratna [attempting to answer]: If you look at the assumptions that they made …
Levin: I yield my time.
Yes, the small amount of fossil fuel money given to the Heritage Foundation and other groups advocating energy freedom come with an agenda, but are swamped by the agenda of the much larger amounts of fossil fuel money given to Levin’s environmental activist group allies. Fossil fuel companies like Shell, BP, Chesapeake, etc., have given multitudes of higher dollar amounts to the environmental left than to energy freedom groups like Heritage.
These companies know that government restrictions on coal power, for example, will force electricity providers to utilize more of the natural gas they produce. Levin’s environmental left allies like Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, etc., receive far more dollars, and far more dollars from fossil fuel companies, than energy freedom groups like Heritage. But Heritage will stick with its agenda of standing up for the American people regardless of this financial disadvantage.
Good on Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) for apologizing to Dr. Dayaratna for the cheap, unfair, hit-and-run job by Levin.