White House: GOP hostile to climate 'facts and science'

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The White House is accusing congressional Republicans of being openly hostile to the scientific facts behind climate change and to addressing the issue.

Speaking with reporters Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest made the charge in highlighting the GOP fight against President Obama’s climate agenda.

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“We’re well aware of the fact that there is an abiding hostility in the Republican conference to facts and science and evidence,” Earnest said in response to a question about the GOP effect on Obama’s promises at the United Nations climate conference in Paris.

“But that has not prevented the administration from moving forward using the president’s executive authority to do things like double fuel efficiency standards on automobiles and increased fuel efficiency standards on large trucks inside the United States,” he said.

Earnest, speaking from Paris during Obama's two-day visit to the summit, added that initiatives like those and the carbon limits for power plants all make significant dents in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama has pledged that the United States will cut its greenhouse gases by 26 to 28 percent by 2025, though the pledge is not legally binding and is simply a total of the cuts that he believes could be achieved with existing laws.

Since Republicans took control of the House in 2011, they’ve fought most parts of Obama’s controversial climate agenda.

The House is planning to pass a pair of resolutions aimed at overturning the power plant rules this week, following the Senate’s action on them earlier this month. Obama has promised to veto the legislation.

Earnest pointed out that the Recovery Act, “the most significant investment in clean energy in American history,” passed Congress, though that was in 2009, when Democrats controlled both chambers.