Departures Promise to Reshape the House, Whether or Not Election Does

The New York Times quoted Myron Ebell on the role of Representative Lamar Smith in providing a central role towards criticizing climate and environmental policies of various federal agencies.

In his five years as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Representative Lamar Smith transformed the once almost invisible position into a powerful bully pulpit. From it, he tried to dismantle Obama-era climate policies, undermine scientific consensus and browbeat federal agencies for what he called scientific fraud.

Mr. Smith, a long-serving conservative and former Judiciary Committee chairman, said the decision to retire was largely personal. He wrote on Thursday that with his chairmanship ending and a new grandchild arriving, the time felt right to step aside after 16 terms.

“It is humbling living in a small apartment in Washington four nights a week,” he wrote. “And I seldom leave the office before late at night.”

Mr. Smith took over the science panel in 2013 and turned it into a powerful counterweight to Obama administration environmental policy. He subpoenaed scientists, accused federal agencies working on climate change of engaging in scientific fraud and supported stripping NASA of much of its climate change research. News of his departure has been as polarizing as his chairmanship.

Myron Ebell, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, and a leading contrarian of the scientific consensus on global warming, said Mr. Smith’s retirement was a “huge loss to the science community.”

Read the full article at The New York Times