PA-10: New ad campaign brands GOP Rep. Scott Perry as ‘an extremist’ on climate issues

    Congressman Scott Perry, R-10th District, answers a question at a Hummelstown public meeting with constituents on July 30th, 2019. (Capital-Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

    (*This story was updated at 11:51 a.m., on 8/26/20 to include comment from Scott Perry’s campaign)

    A new, six-figure digital ad campaign by the political wing of the Environmental Defense Fund takes aim at U.S. Rep. Scott Perry’s, R-10th District, record on environmental issues and what it brands his “denial of climate science.”

    The ad, “Protect at all Costs,” will start running Wednesday across the district on such digital platforms as Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, and Pandora. The 10th District includes Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties.

    Perry faces fellow York Countian Eugene DePasquale, the elected, two-term Democratic state auditor general in a race that is among the most competitive and closely watched in the country.

    In a statement, the PAC’s president, Joe Bonfiglio, said Perry is “extremely out of touch with central Pennsylvania voters and their priorities.”

    “Even on common sense environmental issues that earn bipartisan support, Congressman Perry prefers to stoke divisions rather than protect our air, water, and health. Pennsylvania families can’t afford to send Scott Perry back to Washington.”

    *In an email, Perry’s spokesman, Matt Beynon, dismissed the criticisms, noting that “DePasquale has been endorsed by the same fringe environmental groups, like EDF Action, that support the Green New Deal, costing us $93 trillion and millions of jobs.”

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    In 2019, Perry netted a 3 percent lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, which tracks lawmakers’ votes on environmental issues. That year, Perry cast what the League described as “anti-environment votes” on nearly two-dozen bills.

    In Perry’s 2018 re-election race against Democrat George Scott, PennLive catalogued the York County Republican’s stance on environmental issues. Perry supported the Trump administration’s decision to take the United States out of the Paris climate accords. He prefers a market-focused approach to climate issues, PennLive reported.

    Perry acknowledged to PennLive that “the climate’s changing, without a doubt. I think we contribute to it.” But, he added, “I don’t know exactly how, and that becomes the rub.”

    According to PennLive, Perry cited research suggesting that the “global surface temperature data often used to corroborate climate change over time has been ‘adjusted’ to make the planet appear cooler in the past.”

    As PennLive noted, experts have rejected those arguments, saying that the “studies are little more than the newest straws being grasped by climate-change deniers.”

    Perry pushed back against that assertion to PennLive, arguing that “it opens up an opportunity for skepticism.”

    “And I think it’s right because what we’re talking about is the things we do impact peoples’ lives. And we want to proceed based on the facts; not based on suppositions or the facts we hope that we have,” he told PennLive.

    John L. Micek
    A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press