11-20-15 – Welch Leading Effort to Advance Police State

by Rob Roper

According to an article in the Daily Caller, Vermont Congressman Peter Welch is one of two legislators actively seeking signatures from fellow lawmakers on a letter “demanding records from oil companies they say are ‘hiding and spreading disinformation to both the public and lawmakers alike concerning the science of climate change.’” To date, eighteen Democrats have signed on.

This is clearly little more than a bullying tactic, and an attempt to intimidate people from speaking out with counter-arguments and/or new scientific data that counters the politically correct narrative on climate change. Welch, and the people who voted for him, should be ashamed.

This action runs contrary to the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech, and the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees our rights to be secure in persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, and, not for nothing, science itself, which demands constant experimentation and challenges to existing hypotheses.

Increasingly we are seeing efforts by those entrenched in power to criminalize the actions and opinions citizens who oppose them. (See also proposed constitutional amendments banning freedom of political speech and association in reaction to Citizens United.) This is how you get to a police state.

It is ironic that Welch is so adamant to riffle through oil company documents when, at the same time, the lead government agency on climate change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is refusing to hand over documents to a congressional committee.

This from The Hill:

The federal government’s chief climate research agency is refusing to give House Republicans the detailed information they want on a controversial study on climate change.

Citing confidentiality concerns and the integrity of the scientific process, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it won’t give Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) the research documents he subpoenaed.

At the center of the controversy is a study that concluded there has not been a 15-year “pause” in global warming. Some NOAA scientists contributed to the report.

Perhaps Congressman Welch will begin circulating a letter demanding a government agency turn over taxpayer funded data to a government oversight committee? He won’t, of course. And this is what’s 180 degrees wrong with our political class today.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...