Lamar Smith's climate denial turns off some Texas voters. - Grist


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Lamar Smith’s climate denial turns off some Texas voters.

According to a new poll in Texas’ 21st congressional district, 45 percent of respondents said they are less likely to vote for Rep. Smith because he refused to investigate allegations that ExxonMobil knew about climate change in the ’70s and failed to disclose the threat to the public.

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee chair is among the 34 percent of Congress members who deny climate change. Super PAC Climate Hawks Vote paid for the poll.

Although Smith is still considered a shoo-in, his climate denial and a history of bullying of climate scientists cost the Republican an important endorsement from the San Antonio Express-News. In March, for instance, Smith demanded that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration turn over all emails containing the words “temperature,” “climate,” “change,” “U.N.” “United Nations,” “clean power plan,” “regulations,” “Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” “President,” “Obama,” and “White House” to his committee after the agency published a study he objected to. He also attempted to cut funding for NASA and other agencies studying climate change.

Since 1989, Smith has received nearly $700,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries, including over $80,000 this cycle alone.