EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of several stories on the Republican 5th Congressional District debate put on at the University of Central Oklahoma Thursday. To learn more about global climate change, visit the NASA Web site at climate.nasa.gov.
Republicans campaigning for the 5th Congressional District at a recent debate appeared unified on at least one topic — they described man-made global warming as a myth.
“Cap and trade is a sick joke perpetuated by a bunch of global warming mystic hooligans that believe the globe is warming up and it was caused by man,” said Rick Flanigan of Bethany at the University of Central Oklahoma last week.
Cap and trade is an environmental policy to lower emissions causing pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. President Barack Obama has placed cap and trade as key to his environmental agenda of reducing climate change. The government caps the limit of certain emissions that cause air pollution to reduce what many scientists say contributes to global warming.
No Democrats have announced their candidacy for the Congressional 5th District seat currently occupied by Republican Mary Fallin, a 2010 gubernatorial candidate. Independent candidate Clark Duffe, of Edmond, also is in the race.
Flanigan was joined by James Lankford and Dr. Johnny Roy, both of Edmond, and former state Rep. Kevin Calvey of Del City. Neither State Rep. Mike Thompson of Oklahoma City or Paul Arabie of Del City participated in the debate.
The debate was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and the UCO College Republicans and was moderated by Stuart Jolly.
“No amount of tax in the world is going to change the thermostat that God has his finger on,” Flanigan said.
Lankford predicted today’s generation of students will become the most skeptical generation in U.S. history when they reach adulthood.
“This whole global warming myth will be exposed as what it really is — a way of control more than anything else,” Lankford said. “And that generation will be ticked.”
The United States economy functions on inexpensive energy and construction, Lankford said. Whatever negatively impacts the progress of energy production and construction are bad ideas, he said. Cap and trade means cap and tax, Lankford said. Cap and trade will cause energy prices to increase for heating homes and transportation, he continued.
“The federal government takes a new commodity, air, and begins to tax the use of air,” Lankford said. “It’s a ridiculous concept. It’s basically just a tax increase and not a way to control environmental issues.”
Education in Oklahoma is negatively impacted by cap and trade with the burden of rising energy prices, Lankford said. And the state of Oklahoma does not have the budget revenue to pay for it, he said.
“EPA regulations are pushing for a farmer driving down a country road, if he kicks up enough dust, he’s in violation of EPA rules,” Lankford said.
Calvey said cap and trade is probably the worst public recommendation made in his lifetime. He said it is based on faulty science that has been proven to be fraud.
He agreed with Lankford that the purpose of cap and trade is to exercise control by “certain elites” on Americans. So Calvey is fighting against cap and trade by making the point that energy policy is not simply an economic and environmental issue. Cap and trade is a national security issue, he said.
“I am absolutely passionate about energy independence and I’ll tell you why,” said Calvey, an Army National Guard veteran of the war in Iraq. “I’ve had rockets shot at me that were smuggled into Iraq from Iran.
“Every time we gas up our cars with oil out of the market, some of it is going to people like Iran.”
Sending oil dollars to Iran helps its government to purchase weapons used to kill U.S. troops, Calvey said.
The United States does not import Iranian oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s report of U.S. imports by country of origin, found at tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a2_nus_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm.
Drilling for oil should be allowed anywhere in America including the Rocky Mountains and waters offshore, Calvey said.
“We also need to incentivize the use of domestic fuels in market-based ways, not by dictating to the private sector,” Calvey said. He proposes mandating that every automobile purchased by the federal government should be powered by natural gas.
Roy said cap and trade regulations would harm small business and farmers already struggling to stay in business. The 2009 Copenhagen summit on climate change was a hoax, Roy said.
“I’m a scientist. I know what I’m talking about,” said Roy, a physician specializing in urology.
Roy said he does not know why politicians should not be involved in climate change when the science of global warming and melting glaciers is inconclusive.
Audience member Cheryl Williams said she was impressed by the caliber of Republicans competing for the House seat.
“I think we can end up with a congressman in the U.S. Congress that can be like a Dr. Coburn, said Williams, former vice chairwoman of the Oklahoma Republican Party. “They’re very bright — very thoughtful — obviously not fly-by-night or politician. That’s the one thing we’re missing up there tonight is the politician.”
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