From the office of Congressman Todd Akin: Climate change

Sent: January 10, 2011 09:09 AM
Subject: From the office of Congressman Todd Akin



Dear Daniel:

Thank you for expressing your thoughts regarding the EPA’s use of the 1970 Clean Air Act to control greenhouse gas emissions.  I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Climate change is a hot topic in the scientific and political communities. It is increasingly important to the American people as well. As a member of the House Science and Technology Committee, I have participated in hearings on global warming, its causes and possible effects.

Although not all members of the scientific community agree, there seems to be a growing consensus that the planet has experienced a general warming trend, estimated at just over one degree in the last hundred years. However, satellite data also indicates that temperatures at moderate altitudes have fallen since 1979. According to the National Academy of Science (NAS), there is considerable uncertainty as to whether human activities contribute significantly to global warming.

While some believe increased levels of CO2 in our atmosphere are a major factor in planetary warming trends, others observe that the sun is the primary influence on our planet’s temperature. They note that increases in solar luminosity have contributed to our global warming trend. Still others suggest that our planet has gone through many natural heating and cooling cycles over the last thousand years.

In fact, recent evidence suggests that global warming may have slowed. 3,000 deep sea robots, deployed to study global warming trends have reported that oceanic temperatures appear to have dropped slightly, rather than risen, over the last five years.

Debates and research are ongoing as to the causes, effects, and solutions for global warming. Although there is much more for us to learn, I believe that we cannot wait until we have all the answers to take common-sense steps to reduce CO2 emissions, especially when we can do so without harming our economic stability.

We have a profound responsibility to protect our planet from avoidable environmental harm.   That is why I support research into carbon neutral technologies.  For example, I support the development of emission-free nuclear technology, hydrogen cell technology and other cutting-edge innovations.  But even with alternative technology there is some uncertainty as to our ability to significantly reduce global emissions, especially with increased emissions being produced by China, India and other developing countries. China is, in fact, the leading producer of carbon emissions globally.

Under the banner of combating global warming, some politicians have proposed massive tax increases and tens of billions of dollars in unfunded mandates on states and private corporations.  Such legislation would increase household energy prices by 60-80% and cost millions of American jobs.  Domestic businesses would be forced to absorb a massive regulatory burden not imposed on similarly situated businesses in other countries, placing the United States at a severe economic disadvantage.

Ultimately, I remain committed to a common-sense approach to global warming concerns, balancing economic and environmental outcomes. For that reason, I will not support policies that needlessly hamstringing America‘s economy with no guarantee of rolling back global warming trends.

I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts with me. It is a privilege to represent you. Please visit my website, where you can find more information on current issues, share further thoughts with me via email and subscribe to my e-newsletter for updates on issues you care about. If you have further questions regarding these or other issues facing our nation, please feel free to contact my office.


Todd Akin
Member of Congress

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