Home > Uncategorized > NJ Legislator Deploys A “Death Panel” Scare Tactic In Climate Denying Attack on Solar and Wind Power

NJ Legislator Deploys A “Death Panel” Scare Tactic In Climate Denying Attack on Solar and Wind Power

Suggests reliance on solar and wind will turn off hospital ventilators

A whole new frontier in climate denial

Assemblyman Auth (R-39, Bergen/Passaic)

Assemblyman Auth (R-39, Bergen/Passaic)

In what might be the most despicable Trenton legislative move I’ve seen over a 31 year career, Assemblyman Auth (R-39, Bergen/Passaic) suggested that the hospital ventilators and breathing apparatus of his constituents would be shut off if NJ pursued aggressive renewable energy goals.

How low will these bastards go? Death panels redux!

The Assemblyman’s absurd remarks were made during yesterday’s Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee hearing on a Resolution (ACR53) urging federal officials to strengthen natural gas pipeline regulations and defer to State laws and policies.

The ventilator shut off remark came during Assemblyman Auth’s questioning of Toni Granato, a Sierra Club staffer who testified in support of the Resolution.

Auth – who failed to ask questions of the sponsor, Assemblywoman Muoio who previously had testified – chose to focus his twisted intellectual laser beam on Ms. Granato. Auth asked if Sierra would support conversion of the BL England plant to a nuclear plant.

Granato replied that wind and solar were better alternatives, which prompted Auth’s crocodile brain:

I have a couple of constituents in the hospital up near where I live. They are on ventilators. And they told me to come down here today and make sure that we didn’t rely on solar and wind energy only, because they’re a little concerned about their breathing apparatus. 

After what seemed a tortuously long period of jaw dropping, stunned silence, Ms. Granato replied:

I don’t understand how their breathing would be negatively impacted by solar or wind.

Magnifying the absurdity of that moment, Committee Chairman Gusciora then came to Auth’s defense.

Gusciora explained that Auth was referring to the “intermittency” issue, where some renewable critics complain that solar and wind are unable to supply continuous power during certain periods, e.g.. when it’s dark or the wind is not blowing steadily.

But Auth’s remarks on ventilators were not his only absurd or fact free claims at that hearing.

Auth began his inquisition of the environmental witnesses with an indirect climate denial tactic, posing a “gotcha” question to Jim Walsh, Food & Water Watch.

Auth asked Walsh “what is the largest greenhouse gas”? After Walsh refused to bite, he said, “Since you know the answer to that question, why don’t you tell me”.

Auth then answered his own question by saying that water vapor was the biggest greenhouse gas – with a silly giggle.

This is a factually true statement, but as this Yale Climate Center article explains, it is completely misleading and shows a profound ignorance of atmospheric and climate science.

Auth distorted the issue of air quality from conversion of coal and oil to natural gas, claiming that the switch reduces emissions by 37-58% (conflating traditional criteria air pollutants ilk Sox, NOx, and fine particulates with greenhouse gas emissions, and failing to consider lifecycle emissions from natural gas. Recent science suggests that natural gas is as bad or worse for global warming than coal, when lifecycle emissions are considered).

Auth the flat out lied about the alleged drop in prices of energy in NJ as a result of fracked gas and pipeline construction. He repeatedly claimed, without citing his sources, that consumer energy prices (likely electric and gas) had declined by “almost 50% for the average homeowner”

Not even Gov. Christie’s pro-gas BPU makes that claim. Neither does their Energy Master Plan make that claim:

Since the issuance of the 2011 EMP, electricity prices in New Jersey have fallen across all customer classes. On average, the residential customer’s electricity prices have fallen by over three (3) percent between 2011 and 2015.

WTF is wrong with the voters of the 39th District that they elect such a clown?

And I though Senator Cardinale (R-39) was an idiot for his “drainage ditch” remark – something he subsequently walked back.

Auth makes Cardinale look like a rocket scientist.

[Update – I wonder if what Ault said is even true, i.e. did his constituents in the hospital call him up? Did he visit the hospital and talk to them?

Is someone really scaring people in hospitals that their ventilators might be turned off?

Or was Ault just working off Koch brothers talking points?

Maybe some intrepid journalist might ask him. ~~~ end update]

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