U.S. Department of the Interior / Flickr Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley...
U.S. Department of the Interior / Flickr

Every American must see this EPA nominee’s performance. It shows how the Right Wing turns otherwise intelligent scientists into bumbling talkers who must ignore facts even when presented with irrefutable evidence.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) grilled William L. Wehrum, Trump’s appointee for the Environmental Protection Agency’s air and radiation office. It was embarrassing.

Trump’s EPA nominee an embarrassment

Senator Jeff Merkley showed the nominee a chart that showed two lines that correlated with each other. One line showed the increase in greenhouse gases. The other showed the increasing temperature of the earth. The lines clearly correlated. Merkley did not ask for a full scientific analysis. Correlation is not necessarily determinative. The senator wanted to know if the EPA nominee would at least acknowledge what he saw, two lines that correlate.

The nominee could not even acknowledge the fact that the lines correlated. Merkley got irate.

“What we have seen is just Koch Brother-inspired determination not to acknowledge fundamental facts,” Merkley said. “And continuous excuses that perhaps the temperature of the planet is going up because of solar activity. Oh no, maybe it’s volcanic activity. But when NASA presents the information, it shows there’s no correlation, from those factors and extensive correlation from carbon dioxide and other global warming gasses., individuals like you simply refuse to acknowledge it. Why should the American people put into an office of significance someone who refuses to look at the facts directly that are so important to the health of this planet?”

Merkley soon after that asked William Wehrum if he was aware of the decimation of oysters in his state caused by the acidification of the ocean. He was not familiar with the oyster problem. Asked again if he was aware of ocean acidification. Wehrum said that it was an allegation.

Merkley then asked if he knew about the longer fire season and the beetle infestation attributed to climate change? The nominee kept bumbling around. Merkley was visibly upset.

“No one can look at what is happening on the planet,” Merkley said. “And see there is nothing happening unless you are deliberately determined to ignore that information. And that makes you really quite frankly, unacceptable to serve in that capacity.”

To think this is the caliber of personnel populating the EPA is distressing. Our land, water, and air are in trouble.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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