Monday, December 28, 2020

Better Path Coalition Asks For Removal Of Rep. Metcalfe As Chair Of House Environmental Committee After He Calls Veterans Fighting Climate Change Traitors

On December 28, the
Better Path Coalition delivered a letter signed by 42 organizations calling on House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) to replace Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. 

The coalition began calling for his removal soon after he was given the most influential legislative seat on climate policy by Speaker Cutler’s predecessor, Mike Turzai.

The letter states, “As we approach the beginning of a new session, we call on you to replace Representative Daryl Metcalfe as chair of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and remove him from the Climate Change Advisory Committee. A minimum qualification of the person who wields the most power on climate policy in the legislature is that they accept climate change. Metcalfe is an unabashed climate denier.”

“Another year of record-breaking extreme weather is coming to a close. Seventy percent of Pennsylvanians are calling for climate action. A new legislative session is about to begin. As extreme weather records have fallen with alarming frequency, public support for climate action has grown. Speaker Cutler has no choice but to seize this opportunity to name a chair who has the skills and the basic understanding of science needed to address the unfolding climate crisis,” said Karen Feridun, Co-founder of the Better Path Coalition.”

Diane Sipe of Marcellus Outreach Butler, situated in the Butler County where Rep. Metcalfe’s constituency resides, said, “Metcalfe is a fringe outlier being afforded a platform as the Chair of the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee to elevate his out-of-touch views as if they were mainstream. 

“In fact, the mainstream view, including Metcalfe’s party, is more aptly provided by Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania Governor and the first U.S. secretary of homeland security. In an interview with the PA Environmental Council this past May, Ridge remarked that ‘… I don’t know how people can, in this day and age…It’s almost medieval to deny science! And I think it’s somewhat of a shameful proposition.’ 

Elsewhere Ridge warned his party, ‘The Republican Party has largely abandoned environmental issues—to its great detriment politically.’ Speaker Cutler would best serve his party as well as the Commonwealth by installing a mainstream Committee Chair to replace Metcalfe.”

The letter cites examples of Metcalfe’s inflammatory statements that reveal his poor grasp on science that span more than a decade.  

Here is his reaction in 2009 to Operation Free-- "As a veteran, I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change, in an effort to control more of the wealth created in our economy, through cap and tax type policies, all in the name of national security, is a traitor to the oath he or she took to defend the Constitution of our great nation!" 

Mr. Metcalfe's email reads-- "Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda. Drill Baby Drill!!!" (Post-Gazette, October 20, 2009)

Ten years later, soon after Speaker Turzai made him chair of the committee, he said the following and posted it on his Facebook page-- “Just to be on record, I enjoy my vegetables, and plants need CO2, so I want to make sure we have plenty of CO2 out there so we have green grass and green vegetables growing... We need CO2, we can’t eliminate all CO2. We are going to have an interesting debate for those that want to reduce something that is actually needed by our environment. And claiming that they are improving the environment.” (Rep. Metcalfe’s Facebook page, February 2019)

A new study by scientists at Stanford University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested whether hotter temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels that we’ll see post-2050 will benefit the kinds of plants that live in California grasslands. Read more here.

They found that carbon dioxide at higher levels than today (400 ppm) did not significantly change plant growth, while higher temperatures had a negative effect. Read more here.

The Coalition initially submitted a letter signed by 38 organizations and a petition with more than 5,500 signatures to Turzai last February. They received no response. The petition now has more than 7,600 signatures.  Read more here.

For more information, visit the Better Path Coalition website.


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Related Article:

-- PA Will Experience 42% More Days Of Extremely Heavy Precipitation By 2050 Due To Climate Change

Related Articles This Week:

-- Op-Ed: We Must Cut Carbon Emissions From Fossil Fuels To Zero By 2050 To Prevent Passing A Point From Which We Cannot Adapt - Richard Whiteford

-- Op-Ed: Climate Change Is Affecting Us All In Pennsylvania, Especially In Philadelphia - By Joseph Otis Minott, Clean Air Council

-- Op-Ed: RGGI - A More Mindful Approach To PA Agriculture And Climate Change - By Michael Kovach, PA Farmers Union

[Posted: December 28, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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