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Rep. McKinley's editorial appearing in the Washington Times on Wednesday:

Basing Crucial Economic and Energy-related Decisions on Flawed Scientific Climate Models

Imagine picking up an old issue of Newsweek magazine. As you flip through the pages, you come across a story that describes a rapidly changing global climate with ominous descriptions of extreme weather events. The forecast is based on the “unanimous” consensus among the scientific community. Sound familiar?

Curiously you look at the date on the magazine: April 28, 1975. The title of the article is “The Cooling World,” describing a coming global ice age. This was not an isolated article. There were similar predictions of global cooling during the 1970’s from the New York Times, Time Magazine, NASA and the National Academy of Sciences.

But today, nearly 40 years later, these predictions have proven to be bogus because they were based on flawed scientific climate models. Unfortunately climate alarmism is still alive and well. This time the doomsayers are predicting increasing temperatures and manmade global warming.

But there is another difference. Policy makers are now basing crucial economic and energy-related decisions on these climate models that once again may prove to be as incorrect now as they were in the 1970’s.

What if they are wrong?

President Obama’s climate change plan depends on unreliable theories, much like those that previously forecast a cooling period. There are tens of thousands of scientists who disagree with the so-called consensus on manmade global warming.

Man may be contributing to a limited degree to the global temperature changes of the past 150 years; but to argue that man alone is to blame is irresponsible and unscientifically simplistic. America deserves better.

The anti-coal policies being pursued by the Obama Administration – from shuttering existing power plants to discouraging the construction of new power plants– will hurt millions of Americans and lead to fewer jobs and higher electricity bills.

It’s widely acknowledged the President and his allies intend to zero out coal-generated electricity eventually. But according to a Heritage Foundation report, this would cost 500,000 jobs in industries ranging from coal mining to manufacturing, and reduce average family incomes by $1,000 per year.

In the coal fields across America, these anti-coal policies would devastate communities. They will not only impact thousands of coal miners, but also construction workers, mechanics, pharmacists, and teachers. The coal industry is the lifeblood of many small towns, and if that gets taken away, entire communities suffer.

The negative shock to the economy will not only be felt by coal country, but by anyone that uses electricity. Shifting from low-cost electricity from coal to other more expensive sources will increase electric bills for families and businesses by more than 20%.

Some will see an even greater increase. States like West Virginia which generate electricity from coal have lower costs than states that use little coal. For instance, in 2011 the average price per kilowatt hour for a home in West Virginia was around 8 cents. New York, which only gets 6% of its electricity from coal, pays more than twice that. Each year an average family in New York pays $1000 more in electric bills than a family in West Virginia.

What if they are right?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that President Obama is right on climate change and America should reduce carbon emissions. The question is what will these policies do to slow climate change and improve health?

A report by the Science and Public Policy Institute shows that if the United States stopped emitting ALL carbon dioxide today, the impact on global temperatures would be a negligible reduction of 0.08 degrees Celsius by 2050. Removing the United States entirely from using coal would also have little impact on global carbon output. And according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the growth of carbon emissions from the rest of the world would make up for the United States’ share within 7 years.

America doesn’t exist in a vacuum. China and India are opening a new coal power plant every week. It is becoming increasingly evident that President Obama’s unilateral pursuit of his “war on coal” will have little impact in America other than hurting our economy.

On the health side, President Obama argues that reducing carbon emissions will minimize the occurrence of asthma and other respiratory diseases. But according to Dr. David Bernstein and other noted immunologists, there is no direct link between carbon output and asthma. In fact, even as greenhouse gas emissions have declined, the incidences of asthma have logarithmically increased.

To summarize: the President’s ideologically-driven climate change plan will have an immediate negative impact on hard-working Americans, effecting jobs and the cost of electricity, while having negligible impact on temperatures, carbon output, and health.

The economic cost to Americans is too high to risk gambling our financial security by blindly following the flawed climate models used by President Obama. Imagine if policy makers in the 1970’s had pursued a similar agenda to deal with their own projected climate change using the “consensus” of scientists of that era.

Congress should be making decisions using facts and analysis grounded on tested scientific data, rather than giving in to the political theories of President Obama and his advisors. To do otherwise, we risk a self-inflicted wound to our economy with ill-advised policies that won’t solve the problem they’ve identified.

Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E.(R-WV)represents the First District of West Virginia.

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