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H-L editorial board gets Gooch on global warming

January 12, 2010

State Rep. Jim Gooch, a Webster Democrat, has again prompted headlines after a joint resolution he recently filed questioning global warming and restricting state and local governments from regulating greenhouse gases.

Rep. Jim Gooch (LRC photo)

This isn’t the first time Gooch, who chairs the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, has tangled with the masses who believe in global warming, including the scientists that offer empirical evidence. Gooch hosted an interim legislative committee meeting in 2007 and invited testimony from those who question the premise that rising global temperatures are bad for the environment, and those who live here.

In its editorial today, the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s editorial board take issue with Gooch’s resolution, even though as Gooch admits, the bill is more of a statement than an actual attempt to curb greenhouse gas regulation. That duty should fall to federal authorities, who are not bound by Gooch’s suggestion.

From the editorial

Well, Gooch once again is in full denial mode on climate change. He has filed House Joint Resolution 20, which cites the stolen University of East Anglia e-mails as reason to have “serious doubt” about the reality of climate change. It also claims the regulation of carbon dioxide emissions would have a “deleterious effect” on Kentucky and Kentuckians. If enacted, HJR 20 would bar any state or local regulation of carbon dioxide emissions.

“I do not think our scientists understand the science of our planet,” Gooch told The Courier-Journal in regard to his resolution. Pardon us if we decide to trust scientists’ scientific knowledge over that of someone with business ties to the coal industry.

The significance of the stolen e-mails cited by Gooch has been wildly overblown by those who don’t want action on climate change. Besides, you could throw out all of the University of East Anglia’s data, and the evidence that human activity is causing a rise in average global temperatures is still overwhelming.

Hundreds of resolutions are adopted by the House and Senate each legislative session, and each of them makes a statement of some sort. Lawmakers are well within their rights to express their opinions, even though they run contrary to accepted scientific evidence or just common sense.

But the Herald-Leader makes a good point in the closing of the editorial.

From the editorial –

But serious lawmakers should recognize that it would be a statement embarrassing to Kentucky.

And serious members of the House Democratic leadership should recognize that they are complicit when one of their hand-picked committee chairmen repeatedly causes such embarrassment.

Gooch has made no secret about his beliefs in this area, and still enjoys the support of a majority of his constituents. He deserves the spot in the House he has because of that support.

But his one-sided beliefs on this issue should have House leadership questioning whether he is the right person to chair the Natural Resources and Environment Committee.

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