Fossil fuel favorite Lamar Smith just lost a big ol’ endorsement.
The San Antonio Express-News, the fourth-largest daily newspaper in Texas, has refused to repeat its prior endorsement of Rep. Smith, who has represented Texas’ 21st congressional district since 1987.
Smith is chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee — and a climate change denier. The paper’s editorial board accuses him of “abuse” of that position and “bullying on the issue of climate change”:
[L]ast year Smith threatened the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Kathryn Sullivan, with criminal charges if she didn’t release emails from scientists about a certain climate change study. That study refuted gospel by deniers that global warming slowed between 1998 and 2012.
Smith said he was shielding scientific inquiry. But the real effect would be to chill such efforts. And in 2015, Smith sought to cut NASA funding for earth science — a science that includes climate science research. He said the agency should focus on space exploration. Both are necessary.
The non-endorsement ends with an acknowledgment that Smith will probably win in his largely conservative district anyway.
Luckily for Smith, he has other friends in high places: namely, the fossil fuel industry, which has donated more than $92,000 to his campaign this season.