UNANSWERED: U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo was left hearing crickets after pitching a question at Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy during a Reddit AMA on Tuesday.
By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — Call it a troll of congressional proportions.
A day after dropping a regulatory bombshell on the nation’s energy producers, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy took to the Internet to field questions and drum-up support for the government’s 645-page plan targeted at reducing power plant carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent before 2030.
DODGY: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy participated in an online Q&A forum on Reddit Tuesday following the release of new carbon emission goals and standards.
McCarthy’s exchange took place on Reddit in the form of an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
Maybe she should have tacked on an extra vowel, Ask Me Almost Anything.
While McCarthy happily tackled questions ranging from tough to fluff — apparently her favorite Simpsons character is the blue-haired Marge— the EPA administrator was noticeably silent on a pointed barb issued by Congressional Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas’ 4th District Republican.
Late Tuesday, Pompeo posted a question challenging McCarthy on the effectiveness of the EPA’s proposals to address climate change. The congressman referenced an exchange he had with McCarthy during an Energy and Commerce committee hearing last fall.
“I had asked you whether you had any data to show that policies like the new carbon dioxide emissions proposal would reverse any of the effects of climate change you list on EPA.gov, and whether you could estimate that impact. You replied that you thought these proposals were a way of demonstrating leadership to the global community,” Pompeo wrote. “This strikes me as a bait and switch — your agency is offering proposals saying that they’re supposed to stop climate change, but when asked whether they will be effective, you then say that they’ll be effective once the rest of the world adopts them, if they’re convinced by our leadership.”
“You say that ‘we can’t wait to act on climate change.’ Given the impact of such proposals on families and the affordability of energy, and the lack of substantive data showing that EPA’s proposals would do anything to roll back the effects of climate change, don’t you think we actually should wait for more empirical data to come in on these proposals?” Pompeo asked.
Anyone familiar with Reddit’s popular AMA’s can tell you that post authors only respond to a fraction of the questions hurled their way, and even the most poignant of inquiries can quickly become buried amid a sea of comments. However, that excuse won’t fly for McCarthy; even more than 12 hours after posting the original question, Pompeo’s was still one of only 226 such comments.
McCarthy and the EPA have not yet responded to calls for comment from Kansas Watchdog as to why McCarthy passed on Pompeo’s question and what criteria the administrator used in her Reddit responses. We’ll be sure to let you know when, or if, they decide to respond to us, too.
Contact Travis Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!