Rep. Dan Lungren Newest Member of "Flat Earth Five"

 
Jul 31, 2012
By Jenesse Miller

Just announced: Congressman Dan Lungren is the newest member of the national League of Conservation Voters' "Flat Earth Five."

LCV today named Rep. Dan Lungren (CA-3) to their new $1.5 million “Flat Earth Five” campaign, which aims to defeat five climate change deniers in the U.S. House of Representatives this election cycle. As part of the program, LCV will work to defeat Rep. Lungren, who has claimed that “ideological bias” is driving efforts to combat climate change.

According to Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters:

“The science on climate change is as solid as any public policy question will ever get, but Rep. Lungren just won’t acknowledge the facts."

Sarah Rose, CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters, added:

“At this point it’s clear that Lungren’s ideology is failing his constituents – he’s voted against incentives for conservation and renewable energy, and for big polluters and for more oil drilling. Californians in this district deserve better. They deserve a leader that will put them first.”

Lungren has a lifetime LCV score of just 4 percent (another way to put it: he's voted against the environment 96% of the time) and has made numerous outrageous statements on climate change. 

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are contributing to climate change, Rep. Lungren has claimed that “ideological bias” is driving efforts to combat it, citing an obscure 1974 Time Magazine article about an “impending ice age” as an excuse for dismissing scientists’ “dire predictions” about climate change threats. 

Lungren has declared that regulation of carbon by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a “vicious blow” to “our freedom” that gives the EPA the power “to effectively control … the way in which we breathe.” 

Although he’s acknowledged that it’s “prudent” to reduce CO2 emissions “without waiting for proof or disproof of global warming,” he voted against landmark climate change legislation in 2009.

Rep. Lungren joins Reps. Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-24) and Dan Benishek (MI-1) as members of the Flat Earth Five. Additional names will be announced over the next two weeks.

As reported by the Washington Post:

“There’s still a debate about how to address these issues, but Americans expect their politicians to be informed and to accept basic science,” said Navin Nayak, the group’s senior vice president for campaigns. “Independents are with us. All of these members are in places where they have to win a majority of independent voters to win reelection.”

According to a Washington Post-Stanford University poll conducted in June, 77 percent of Americans say rising global temperatures are at least partly caused by the things people do, compared with 22 percent who say warming stems only from natural causes. Among independents, who often decide key races, 79 percent say humans play a role."

(Watch Nayak talk about the Flat Earth Five on MSNBC's Hardball).

The Flat Earth Five, like many of their fellow climate change deniers in Congress, are supported by big polluters who are willing to say -- and spend -- just about anything to win in November. That's along with hundreds of millions of dollars that corporate special interests – backed by Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers – have pledged to spend to win the White House, Senate, and House.

That's why LCV will be investing significant resource in these five Congressional districts on television advertising, direct mail and an extensive phone program. The goal: to inform letting voters know that these members of Congress are dangerously out-of-step with their district on the issue of climate change.

More information about the Flat Earth Five can be found online at http://www.lcv.org/flatearthfive.

CLCV and the LCV Action Fund have endorsed Rep. Lungren's opponent, Dr. Ami Bera, for Congress. Bera will stand up to oil companies and for clean energy jobs, oppose offshore oil drilling, and confront the challenge of climate change head-on.

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