By Tony Perkins
If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em! That’s the President’s new approach to climate change skeptics in conservative states. The Obama administration is apparently so desperate for support that it’s willing to blackmail governors into adding global warming to their disaster planning — or block their federal funds. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the conform-or-pay rules would go into effect next March. In the meantime, governors have a choice: they can bow down to the Left’s faulty science or lose millions of dollars in FEMA relief planning.
Under the new regulations, only states that tackle the effects of “changing environmental or climate conditions” in their long-term “hazard-mitigation plans” will qualify for funding. Specifically, governors must “identify tools and approaches that enable decision-making to reduce risks and increase resilience from a changing climate.” It’s a shocking amount of political arm-twisting, even for this administration.
Clearly, the rules were made to hurt — and it’s no secret whom. Republican Governors like Rick Scott (Fla.), Bobby Jindal (La.), Chris Christie (N.J.), Pat McCrory (N.C.), and Greg Abbott (Texas) have been openly critical of the administration’s climate push, and these guidelines are payback. Of course, many of these regions — including my home state of Louisiana — are coastal, meaning that they are especially vulnerable to storms and other natural disasters. And while FEMA promises that it won’t attach these same strings to hurricane, flood, or other post-disaster relief, the administration’s word is about as reliable as the Left’s science.
Interestingly enough, FEMA’s extortion plan comes on the heels of a pretty damning report from key environmental experts, who agreed last year that the White House’s National Climate Assessment is a “masterpiece of marketing” that crumbles like a “house of cards” under the weight of real-world evidence. In an open letter, the group of 15 blasted the government’s “climate models” for “dramatically fail(ing) basic verification tests. Nowhere do they admit to these well-known failures. Instead, we are led to believe that their climate models are close to perfection.” The real damage control started well before when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was forced to admit that the world’s temperatures haven’t risen in 17 years. (If you thought the holes in the Ozone layer were big, you should see the ones in the Left’s credibility!)
Without any real science to prop up his agenda, the President is pulling a page from his abortion playbook: government extortion. Unfortunately, this kind of ideological hostage-taking is nothing new for the White House. When Catholic Charities wouldn’t pledge allegiance to the administration’s abortion views, HHS pulled the plug on more than $5 million in human trafficking grants, despite the fact Catholic Charities is among the most qualified organizations to render aid and assistance to the trafficked.
Obviously, the totalitarian tactics of this administration knows no bounds. “This story really brings together all the elements of Obamaism,” writes Dan McLaughlin. As HotAir puts it, “It’s legally dubious; it ignores Congress… it’s an obvious political pander to the Left with a bonus of putting right-wingers in a spot, even at the expense of placing citizens at risk; and it (mocks) state autonomy. Basically, it’s the environmental equivalent of executive amnesty. All that’s missing is 18-24 months of Obama statements denying that he’d ever do something like this before turning around and doing it.”
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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