Republicans Look To Cut ‘Global Warming’ Research From The Defense Budget

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Republican lawmakers have unveiled their 2016 budget proposal, which looks eliminate the budget deficit in the next decade and that means spending cuts. One place, in particular, the GOP is looking to cut: federal defense spending on global warming research.

Republicans have proposed cutting global warming research programs at the Defense Department and the CIA.

“The Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency, two of the most important agencies in our national security apparatus, currently spend part of their budget studying climate change,” the GOP’s budget notes in a section detailing ways to “eliminate redundancies and end the abuse or misuse of taxpayer dollars.”

Republicans have long been critical of Pentagon efforts to “go green” and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels — remember the Navy’s costly “Green Fleet”? More recently, the GOP has criticized President Barack Obama for saying that global warming was as a bigger national security threat than terrorism.

In 2013, the White House reported that 18 federal agencies funded global warming programs, including scientific research, international climate assistance, incentivizing renewable energy technology and subsidies to renewable energy producers. In total, the government spent $22.2 billion fighting global warming.

Republican plans to cut global warming research funding also comes after Democratic lawmakers launched an investigation of scientists skeptical of global warming. Lawmakers also launched an investigation into companies and organizations they believed to be paying scientists for research critical of the so-called “climate consensus.”

The scientific community, however, fought back, calling the investigation launched by Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva and other lawmakers a “witch hunt” meant to intimidate scientists who had differing views than the Obama administration.

“Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers,” the American Meteorological Society wrote to Grijalva.

“Mr. Grijalva’s letters convey an unstated but perfectly clear threat: Research disputing alarm over the climate should cease lest universities that employ such individuals incur massive inconvenience and expense—and scientists holding such views should not offer testimony to Congress,” Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

House Republicans are proposing to cut $5.5 trillion in government spending over the next decade and eliminate yearly federal budget deficits. The budget proposal claims to cut redundant federal programs, streamline the regulatory process, simplify the tax code, and repeal Obamacare.

Republicans are also stressing their budget eliminates the budget deficit without raising taxes.

“Today, our nation faces tremendous fiscal and economic challenges and, if nothing is done, a future of less opportunity and low expectations,” House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price of Georgia said in a statement.

“In this budget, we have embraced the innovative spirit of the American people by putting forth policies that can deliver real results and that empower individuals, families, job creators and our communities to build a stronger more secure future,” Price said.

The GOP budget would make budget cuts while increasing defense spending from current levels and reforming entitlement programs to make them fiscally sustainable in the coming decades.

But Democrats have derided the budget, saying it cuts funding to crucial programs that Americans rely on while giving tax breaks to the rich.

“Our budgets are nothing less than a statement of our values,” House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California said in a statement. “Republicans’ values are clear: big tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and no concern for the challenges faced by hardworking Americans.”

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