Daryl Metcalfe responded to DePasquale’s climate change report in the most Daryl Metcalfe way ever | Thursday Morning Coffee

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe speaks at a pro-gun rally at the Pennsylvania Capitol. (Screen shot of Facebook video)

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Reminding us that sound bites are easy, but science is hard, we give you the example of state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler.

Late Wednesday afternoon, mere hours after Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a report revealing that climate change-spurred weather has cost Pennsylvania taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure damage, the Keystone State’s chief pantomime conservative pounced, and in the most Metcalfian way you can imagine.

“There was no actual auditing completed in this report. It all amounts to partisan pandering for the governor’s delusional climate change policy proposals,” Metcalfe, a climate-denier who chairs the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee raged in a taxpayer-funded email, sent out by a taxpayer-funded staffer, as he accused DePasquale of wasting taxpayer money with his report.

Pa. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

In case you missed it, DePasquale held a sparsely attended news conference on Wednesday, where he rolled out a report saying the state isn’t adequately prepared for climate change-induced heavy weather. And he offered nine recommendations for curing that.

The report concluded, among other things, that climate change cost Pennsylvania taxpayers at least $261 million in 2018, with half of that amount, $125.7 million, inflicted on the state’s infrastructure due to “record-breaking” flooding and landslides.

Admittedly, it’s a flexible interpretation of the duties of DePasquale’s office. Nonetheless, finding out that the state spent a whopping $261 million, and looking for ways for that not to happen again, sounds like diligent fiscal stewardship to us.

Metcalfe, who’s wasted taxpayer money by hosting fellow climate-deniers at committee hearings challenging the settled science of climate change and mankind’s role in contributing to it, accused DePasquale of “Chicken Little fear-mongering regarding ‘man made’ climate change,’ and of acting like one of Gov. Tom Wolf’s “highest-paid cheerleaders” for plugging the administration’s stalled Restore PA infrastructure plan.

“The auditor general just wrote a fan letter to the governor and his radical environmentalist supporters,” Metcalfe fumed in his taxpayer-funded jeremiad, adding that “the only remotely tangible information that can be gleaned from the auditor general’s special report is his intentionally unconcealed ambitions for higher political office.”

The funny thing is, if Metcalfe hadn’t heeded the siren call of his well-established hostility to … well …  everything that isn’t Daryl Metcalfe, he might have been on to something.

That’s because there’s a legit argument to be made that DePasquale was bogarting the spotlight to further his congressional ambitions. It’s one that Republicans have been leveling against DePasquale for months, to little avail. But as Metcalfe is surely aware, the advantage of the incumbency includes the bully pulpit.

Instead, exhibiting a Brobdingnagian lack of self-awareness, Metcalfe carped in his taxpayer-funded email that DePasquale needed to “return to his established lane of ensuring that public money—or your tax dollars— is being spent in an appropriate manner by executive agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection.”

Y’know … like by inviting climate deniers to testify in public settings and treating them like they’re not anything other than cartoon characters.

The report, we’d add, includes a number of recommendations for DEP and other agencies with appropriate oversight to up their game on the front end, so that taxpayers don’t end up spending more on the back end.

Which, you’d think, is something that an alleged fiscal conservative such as Metcalfe would appreciate.

Instead, we get this kicker quote:

“As I have repeatedly stated in my legitimate role as majority chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, the very real threats to responsible environmental stewardship and Pennsylvania’s rapidly expanding Energy-Enabled Economy is coming from the deep-pocketed climate alarmist lobby, which is generating fake fear to take more money from the taxpayers and job creators who actually work for it,” he said.

Like we said, science is hard. Trolling? Not so much.

WikiMedia Commons

Our Stuff.
You might have noticed that impeachment hearings got rolling on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Here’s our rolling tally of how every Pa. member of Congress reacted to the day’s historic developments.

Riding Virginia’s blue wave, Congress renewed its push for the Equal Rights Amendment, our Washington Bureau Chief Robin Bravender reports.

Democrat Dan McCaffery and Republican Megan King won seats on the Pa. Superior Court as Democrat Amanda Green-Hawkins conceded, Stephen Caruso reports.

On our Commentary Page, a Franklin & Marshall College professor who worked for a decade at the State Department wants to dispel a few of the misconceptions about the agency that you’re likely to hear a lot more about this week.

(Photo via Flickr Commons)

Elsewhere.
Philly’s garbage truck drivers ‘crashed 2,000 times, avoided discipline, and cost taxpayers $4.8 million,’ the Inquirer reports.
With impeachment hearings underway, a new poll shows Pennsylvanians divided on whether to remove President Donald Trump, the Morning Call reports.
PennLive looks at how an FBI corruption probe clashes with Gov. Tom Wolf’s ‘Mr. Clean’ image.
Pittsburgh City Paper profiles a group called ‘Hello Neighbor,’ which is expanding at a time when refugee services are shrinking.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

A Philadelphia school knew about toxic lead in its drinking water — but didn’t tell parentsWHYY-FM reports.
Dauphin County is resisting the state’s push to buy new voting machinesWITF-FM reports.
Three-term Lancaster County Commissioner Dennis Stuckey has launched a GOP bid for auditor general, PoliticsPA reports.
Politico explains why the Dreamers can’t count on the U.S. Senate to save them if the Supreme Court rules against them.

What Goes On.
The Independent Fiscal Office offers its budget outlook through 2025 during a 1:30 p.m. briefing at Harrisburg University.

WolfWatch.
First Lady Frances Wolf 
has an 11 a.m. tour of the Lion’s Food Pantry at Penn State University, where she’s set to discuss the “link between college food insecurity and the minimum wage.”

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Belated best wishes go out to state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, who celebrated Wednesday. And congratulations this morning to longtime reader Erika Brunelle, who celebrates today. Enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s an old favorite from The Verve. It’s ‘The Drugs Don’t Work.’

Thursday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
The New York Islanders 
extended their point streak, hanging on to beat Toronto 5-4 on Wednesday night. The red-hot Isles are 12-0-1.

And now you’re up to date.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.