Lamar Smith, Trump-endorsing chair of the House Science Committee, is attacking anyone seeking to hold ExxonMobil accountable for its decades-long cover-up of the the dangers of global warming pollution. He’s issued subpoenas against environmental groups, even against state attorneys general who dare to investigate Exxon, with the fiction that they're bullying Exxon. Climate science trumps fiction, and we're endorsing Smith's Democratic opponent Tom Wakely.
Lamar Smith, Donald Trump-endorsing chair of the House Science Committee, is attacking anyone seeking to hold ExxonMobil accountable for its decades-long cover-up of the the dangers of global warming pollution. He’s issued subpoenas against environmental groups, even against state attorneys general who dare to investigate Exxon, all because of the fiction that investigations constitute bullying of poor helpless Exxon.
Everyone from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to his San Antonio hometown newspaper has called him out on it, but public shame doesn’t matter as much as the $678,000 he’s taken from fossil fuel interests over the years. And it’s not his first abuse of subpoena power attacking climate science. Last year, he subpoenaed NOAA officials, claiming they’d been cherry-picking data in an effort to prove that climate change is real.
Enter Tom Wakely. Tom is an unabashed progressive, Bernie Sanders-endorsing, Air Force veteran with a strong background as a union organizer and deep roots within the Christian left. Most important, he’s running as a champion of climate science. He’s connecting the dots among Texas’ record floods, the religious imperative to care for what God created, and the need for urgent action. He’s making climate change his core issue. And he’s earned our endorsement.
Texas’ 21st Congressional district covers a corner of San Antonio, a corner of Austin, and a lot of Texas’ Hill Country. The district is 30% Hispanic, a factor that matters in the year of Donald Trump (who Smith has endorsed). Smith didn’t face a Democrat at all in 2014. If Democrats have any chance of recapturing the House or turning Texas blue, they need to engage in tough districts like TX-21. Tom won his primary against a centrist business-oriented Democrat, and now he’s challenging Smith. We’re not going to tell you this is an easy win, but we’re standing with science, with Tom, against Exxon, against Donald Trump, and against Lamar Smith.
Update: We went into the race hoping to simply hold Smith’s vote total below 60% this year. And we succeeded – Smith won with 56.9% of the vote, the first time ever that this nine-term incumbent won with less than 60 percent.