The non-profit Organizing for Action, which was established to support President Barack Obama’s second term agendas, took a stab at climate change in a recent political ad, slamming Republicans on the issue. But was the group accurate?
OFA’s video posted on YouTube April 24 labels several Republican members of Congress as “climate deniers,” a popular term for those who deny that climate change is occurring at all or those who believe the jury is still out as to what the science says about the relation between climate change and man-made activities.
The video shows a clip of Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio saying the “fundamental question is weather man-made activity is what’s contributing most to [climate change.]”
It later shows House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) saying “It’s almost comical.”
“Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide,” he said.
Watch the full ad:
The point of contention in the video is a number stating that 240 House members voted in 2011 that climate change was a “hoax.”
FactCheck.org, a non-partisan group devoted to checking factual accuracy of political statements, delved into that number and found it applied to a Democrat-proposed amendment, which was voted down 184-240, to the Republican-initiated Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.
The amendment stated, “Congress accepts the scientific findings of the Environmental Protection Agency that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare.”
FactCheck also noted that Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), who was featured in the OFA’s video calling it a “hoax,” did not speak on the amendment during its debate.
“[In] fact, none of the Republicans who spoke against it called climate change a ‘hoax,’” FactCheck wrote.
So where did OFA get its hoax language?
“The clip in the video of [Broun] calling climate change ‘a hoax’ came from a floor speech two years earlier on June 26, 2009,” FactCheck found out.
Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler gave the video four “Pinocchios,” indicating “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”
“Certainly there’s a strong strain of skepticism about climate change among Republican lawmakers, as demonstrated by a number of clips in the video,” Kessler wrote. “So initially we were tempted to conclude that this claim did not quite rise to Four Pinocchios. But the video seriously undercuts its credibility with the phony accounting on the amendment — and this sort of gamesmanship with congressional votes is simply not acceptable.”