Is Missouri congresswoman Ann Wagner a climate change denier?
Organizing for Action-Missouri, the nonprofit offshoot of Barack Obama's reelection campaign, is staging a protest today to pressure Wagner to acknowledge that climate change is real. Why Wagner? The group says that the Missouri Republican has dodged questions of climate change in the past, and one local volunteer with the organization points Daily RFT to comments she made in an e-mail that are alarming to some environmental advocates.
Wagner wrote, "The field of climate science is in its relative infancy and it appears that some within the public policy world have made dubious assessments of scientific information in order to further their own political agenda. Our policy response to this dilemma should not be based on inconsistent and unsound science or driven by the fear of a supposed catastrophe."
See also: - Wagner Votes No On Violence Against Women Act, Says She Stood Up For Women - Meet Ann Wagner, the Woman Who's Taking Todd Akin's Congressional Seat - Missouri GOP's Bill to Block a United Nations Green Initiative Passes Senate
The comments from Wanger were published on an obscure blog, in which the writer says that this was the a form letter the congresswoman's office sent in response to an inquiry with the subject "climate change."
A spokesman for Wagner, the freshman congresswoman who represents the state's second district, confirms to Daily RFT that this is her letter.
As of this writing, he has not offered us any additional comment regarding the congresswoman's stance on climate science or today's protest outside her office.
The letter from Wagner, full statement below, also offered this commentary on climate change before delving into her skepticism on the science:
It is our responsibility to leave this nation in the same or better condition to ensure that future generations can thrive and prosper. The theory of climate change is one of the most hotly debated issues concerning the environment and politics. One issue that needs no debate is that climate is inherently variable and, thus, constantly changing.
Organizing for Action -- which aims to promote the president's agenda on the ground, but is no longer affiliated with Obama -- is going after members of Congress across the country who have rejected climate-change science and refuse to acknowledge human contributions to this problem. The group is advocating for bipartisan climate legislation in D.C.
In Missouri, OFA has staged gun control, immigration and sequestration rallies in recent months and in the area of climate change, is starting with Wagner as a target.
"The science is long since settled," says Ken Denson, an OFA-MO volunteer from Chesterfield, who pointed us to the blog post with Wagner's climate comments. "We are going to confront those who are actively denying the existence of climate change, actively denying that something needs to be done.... You are out of touch with the interests of your constituents."
Denson, who is part of OFA's Creve Coeur-Olivette chapter and is a member of the organization's climate change working group, says it's time politicians on both sides of the aisle get serious about this threat.
"This is very clear," he says. "This isn't really a political issue. It's a moral issue."
It seems there's not a whole lot published on Wagner's climate change stance, though the Post-Dispatch briefly noted in a recent profile -- which Wagner's office promoted -- that she co-sponsored legislation that would forbid sending money to the United Nations to study global warning.
Continue for more on OFA-MO's planned actions and the full commentary from Wagner on climate change.