If you believe in man-made climate change — and think the nation’s unemployment rate truly has fallen to 7.5 percent — then Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has a bridge to sell you.
At a Tuesday-morning House hearing on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the outspoken Mr. Rohrabacher, California Republican, took aim at environmentalists’ claims that mankind is fueling global warming by continuing to use fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal.
That notion, he suggested, is as false as the idea that the U.S. jobless rate really is as low as the just-announced 7.5 percent. The Labor Department on Friday reported that the U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs in April and that the unemployment figure fell to its lowest level in five years.
“The American people understand how fragile we are economically, even with a supposed 7.5 [percent] unemployment rate. Anybody who believes that probably also believes in global warming,” Mr. Rohrabacher said. “I believe the global warming theory that mankind is impacting climate change has been so exaggerated, … that it will bring down the standard of living of the American people.”
Critics of the Keystone project — a $7 billion proposal that would transport Canadian oil sands to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast — argue that its construction would boost greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the use of more oil, thereby accelerating climate change.
That claim is very much in doubt. The State Department in its environmental review of the pipeline determined that the Canadian oil sands are likely to be exploited regardless of whether the pipeline it built.
Meanwhile, many analysts believe that the true American jobless rate is much higher than the official figures routinely reported by the Labor Department. The claim of a much higher “true” unemployment number did not arise only during the Obama administration; it’s been made during both Republican and Democratic administrations.