House investigators want to know how much carbon dioxide a top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official spewed into the atmosphere while traveling the country promoting agency rules aimed at curbing global warming.
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith’s office wants to know how much CO2 Janet McCabe, the head of EPA’s air and radiation office, emitted while flying and driving across the country to promote the so-called Clean Power Plan — a regulatory plan to cut CO2 emissions from power plants.
“Last year, President Obama issued an Executive Order, calling for the heads of Executive Branch departments and agencies to ‘consider the development of policies to promote sustainable commuting,” Smith’s office wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“McCabe’s routine travel raises significant questions as to her commitment toward furthering the reduction of carbon emissions that she promotes in her official capacity on the taxpayer’s dime,” the letter reads.
As head of EPA’s air office, McCabe has been described as the “public face” of the EPA’s global warming effort, traveling the country to promote the agency’s agenda. But travel means CO2 emissions, and lots of travel would seem to contradict Obama’s order to limit emissions from travel.
“McCabe routinely enjoys weekends away from Washington where she maintains where she maintains her permanent home in Indianapolis,” Smith’s office wrote, going on to quote McCabe saying she goes home every weekend — it’s a long commute from D.C. to Indiana.
Smith has been critical of EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and joined Republican lawmakers in voting to repeal the rule last year. Smith has also led an investigation into the agency’s use of non-public science to justify regulations. Now, the Texas lawmaker wants to know how genuine EPA officials are who want everyone else to cut CO2 emissions associated with daily activities.
McCabe, however, isn’t the only EPA official who travels across the country literally every weekend. McCarthy’s weekly trips home likely resulted in tons of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.
In 2014, the EPA released a photo album titled “A Day In The Life of the EPA Administrator” that shows what McCarthy does on a typical day, including the fact that she flies home nearly every weekend to spend time with her family.
“Yes, Administrator McCarthy flies home regularly to see her family. And yes she is a leader in fighting to protect our environment and improve public health,” the EPA told TheDCNF in 2014.
TheDCNF calculated that, assuming she flew home every weekend, McCarthy’s carbon footprint from airline travel alone was around 37.5 tons over four years — more than 3.5 times the average American’s yearly carbon footprint.
Of course, this footprint is likely larger now, and all while she’s been telling the public of the dangers of global warming — warming the agency blames on CO2.
“Addressing the threat from a changing climate is one of the greatest challenges of this and future generations,” McCarthy told Congress in April 2014. “The agency will focus resources on the development of common sense and achievable greenhouse gas standards for power plants — the single largest source of carbon pollution.”
“Although you have pledged your support for the President’s measure, examples such as the case of McCabe’s — EPA’s chief advocate for reducing carbon emissions — raise significant questions about the example EPA is setting,” reads Smith’s letter to McCarthy.
Update: An EPA spokeswoman responded to TheDCNF’s article.
“I can confirm receipt of the letter and the agency will respond accordingly,” the spokeswoman said. “Ms. McCabe pays for all personal travel. She is fully committed to upholding the mission of the agency and serving our country.”
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