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"A top House lawmaker’s confrontation with government researchers over a groundbreaking climate change study is provoking a national backlash from scientists, who say his campaign represents the most serious threat Congress has posed to scientific freedom. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has subpoenaed scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and demanded that they turn over internal e-mails related to their research. Their findings contradicted earlier work showing that global warming had paused, and Smith, a climate change skeptic, has accused them of altering global temperature data and rushing to publish their research in the June issue of the journal Science. So far, NOAA officials have resisted Smith’s demands, and the showdown has escalated. ... On Tuesday, seven scientific organizations representing hundreds of thousands of scientists sent an unsparing letter to Smith, warning that his efforts are “establishing a practice of inquests” that will have a chilling effect." "NOAA Chief Tells Lawmaker: No One Will ‘Coerce the Scientists Who Work for Me’" (Washington Post) "Top Science Committee Democrat Accuses GOP Lawmaker of New Low in Climate Feud" (Washington Post) "Lamar Smith Is Hot and Bothered About Climate Science" (US News & World Report) "There Was No Global Warming 'Hiatus,' 40-Study Review Concludes" (InsideClimate News) "Even as Congress Investigates the Global Warming ‘Pause,’ Actual Temperatures Are Surging" (Washington Post)

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Site: www.sej.org

"Federal officials are turning over scores of emails and documents related to climate science research in response to a subpoena from a House committee. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) official said Thursday that the agency provided about 100 documents to the House Science Committee this week. The documents relate to an investigation kicked off by the committee's chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), into NOAA’s climate science research, specifically a study that concluded there has not been a 15-year 'pause' in global warming."

"Republican Congressman plans to discuss the constitutionality of his subpoenas of state attorneys general with three hand-picked witnesses." "The chairman of the House Science Committee has announced a hearing next month into the refusal by two state attorneys general to comply with subpoenas seeking information on their investigations into ExxonMobil. Rep. Lamar Smith, Republican from Texas, said on Tuesday the inquiry will focus on whether Congress has authority to issue subpoenas to the New York and Massachusetts attorneys general investigating the oil giant for misleading investors on climate change. It will also discuss what recourse the committee has if the the two AGs choose not to comply. Among the Republican majority witnesses to testify at the Sept. 14 hearing will be two law professors with connections to think tanks funded by the fossil fuel industry and who have been critical of the attorneys general. The third is a liberal law scholar and professor who has frequently testified before Congress. The Democrats on the committee have yet to name a minority witness." "Conservative Think Tank Sues New York Attorney General Over Exxon Documents" (InsideClimate News)

"The head of a congressional committee on science has issued subpoenas to the Obama administration over a recent scientific study refuting claims that global warming had 'paused' or slowed over the last decade. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and a prominent congressional skeptic on climate change, issued the subpoenas two weeks ago demanding e-mails and records from U.S. scientists who participated in the study, which undercut a popular argument used by critics who reject the scientific consensus that man-made pollution is behind the planet’s recent warming. Smith’s document request to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ordered the agency to turn over scientific data as well as internal 'communications between or among employees' involved in the study, according to a letter Friday by the House committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Tex.).  Johnson accused Smith of 'furthering a fishing expedition' by looking for ways to discredit NOAA’s study, which was published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Science." "The House Science Committee Is Worse Than the Benghazi Committe" (Vox) "Science Publishes New NOAA Analysis: Data Show No Recent Slowdown in Global Warming" (NOAA Release: 6/4/2015) "Here's the Secret Data Climate Scientists Are Hiding From Us" (Mother Jones) "2015 Likely to Be Hottest Year Ever Recorded" (New York Times)

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Site: www.greentechmedia.com

New York Times: Despite Risks, Cuomo Bets on Solar Power to Lift Buffalo On the often cloudy shores of the Buffalo River, where a steel factory once thrived, lies the rising framework of one of New York’s most ambitious economic endeavors ever: a giant solar panel factory that the state says will be the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has committed up to $750 million to the project, the biggest economic development effort he has undertaken in his five years as governor. In doing so, he has bet big not just on solar energy, a competitive and rapidly growing business, but also on the success of SolarCity, a fast-growing California company that will operate out of the factory that New York state will own. RenewEconomy: Australian Rooftop PV the Cheapest in the World, Finds IEA The cost of installing solar PV systems at Australian households and businesses is among the cheapest in the world, according to the latest global PV report from the International Energy Agency, released on Monday. The IEA’s 20th Trends in Photovoltaic Applications report shows that in Australia, as in many regions of the world, solar PV is now recognized as one of the least-cost options for electricity generation. Australia has some of the world’s cheapest installed system prices for grid-connected residential and commercial solar PV systems, at USD $1.76/W and $1.61/W, respectively. A vocal advocate of nuclear power in Australia, Dr. Alan Finkel, is set to be named as the country’s next chief scientist. The appointment of Finkel, an engineer and former neuroscience research fellow who has served as the chancellor of Monash University since 2008, is due to be announced by Malcolm Turnbull this week. It is not yet clear whether the prime minister’s choice, first reported by the Herald Sun on Monday, signals a new openness by the government to consider nuclear power generation. Vox's David Roberts: The House Science Committee Is Worse Than the Benghazi Committee Last Thursday, the nation watched with a mix of amusement and horror as the House Benghazi committee spent 11 hours grilling Hillary Clinton on a bizarre farrago of issues, many of which bore only tangential connection to the Benghazi attack. Over the past few weeks, the political narrative seems to have shifted from "Clinton in trouble" to "congressional witch hunt seeks to take down Clinton." Between McCarthy's accidental truth-telling, an ex-staffer confirming the worst reports about the committee, and another House Republican conceding the obvious, it has become clear that the Benghazi committee is a thoroughly partisan political endeavor. Opinion has turned, but Republicans are trapped. The thing is: The Benghazi committee is not even the worst committee in the House. I'd argue that the House science committee, under the chairmanship of Lamar Smith (R-TX), deserves that superlative for its open-ended, Orwellian attempts to intimidate some of the nation's leading scientists and scientific institutions. Climate Progress: Why This Republican Senator Just Came Out in Support of Obama’s Climate Rule As soon as the EPA’s Clean Power Plan hit the Federal Register, the rule was met with a flurry of lawsuits from fossil-fuel-producing states, utility groups and the coal industry. Republicans in Congress have pledged to block the rule, and could try to kill the rule through the Congressional Review Act this week. But in a chorus of Republican opposition, the Obama administration won a new ally over the weekend, when Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) became the first Republican senator to openly voice support for the Clean Power Plan.

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