Kentucky GOP lawmaker defends coal: ‘We all agree’ Mars is the same temperature as Earth

By Travis Gettys
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 13:59 EDT
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Brandon Smith
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A coal plant-owning Kentucky Republican offered an out-of-this-world argument against new EPA carbon emissions regulations.

State Sen. Brandon Smith (R-Hazard) joined other lawmakers in attacking the Obama administration and EPA regulations July 2 in a meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment.

“I won’t get into the debate about climate change,” Smith said. “But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

While there are no known coal mines or factories on Mars, the average temperature on Mars is significantly colder than here on Earth.

The average temperature on Earth is about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average temperature on Mars is about -81 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smith, who has been elected to the Kentucky Senate twice and elected four times to the state House, was joined by other lawmakers who questioned the science behind climate change.

“All this stems, this carbon capture, all this other stuff, it stems back to a scare, generated years ago about global warming,” said state Rep. Stan Lee (R-Fayette County). “Finally it turned out there hasn’t been global warming in 15 or 20 years, then they changed the name to climate change.”

Another lawmaker said the extinction of the dinosaurs proved that climate change was not caused by humans.

“The dinosaurs died, and we don’t know why, but the world adjusted, and to say that this is what’s going to cause detriment to people, I just don’t think it’s out there,” said state Rep. Kevin Sinnette (D-Ashland).

Watch video of Smith’s remarks posted online by Joe Sonka:

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