The Sawyer Glacier in Alaska has retreated by 2.3 km over the last 50 years. Credit: Photo by Flickr user Ian D. Keating

Editor’s Note: The Rivard Report received a letter to the editor from U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) in response to Director Robert Rivard’s column In Praise of Science and Fact, Truth and the Media, which touches on a longstanding argument that Smith and local architect David Lake have been having over open letters and one in-person confrontation that took place at the Witte Museum.

In his column, Rivard summarized media coverage that outlined the drastic effects Smith’s proposed deregulation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would have on the environment.

“There are only facts. Science has never had a political affiliation, and it doesn’t have one now,” Rivard wrote, challenging the politicization of science.

The following is Lamar’s letter to Rivard:

It is a clear misrepresentation of reality to claim that science does not have a political dimension. We have seen issues of political influence at both NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) with the Karl Study, and EPA, where faulty science and hidden data were used to justify billions of dollars in regulations during the Obama Administration. The administration cherry-picked data to advance alarmist predictions. That is why this Committee has become increasingly concerned as we have uncovered violations of scientific integrity at many federal agencies.

I urge Mr. Rivard to take a look at the Committee’s efforts, which have uncovered a past pattern of EPA politicization of regulations. Furthermore, concern about de-regulation is unwarranted. Government over-regulation leads to a stifling of innovation and kills jobs. Our responsibility for environmental stewardship will only be achieved when the government relies on good and legitimate science, not politically correct science.

The (Science, Space, and Technology) Committee is dedicated to ensuring that agencies lead with sound science and that industry is free to discover innovative technologies that will do far more to protect our environment than ineffective and costly regulations.

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U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith represents the 21st district of Texas in the House of Representatives and is chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.