No action on immigration? No surprise

With money running out for dealing with thousands of unaccompanied minors who came to this country illegally, members of Congress did the predictable. They left Washington last week without passing a funding measure. It was an exasperating turn of events that left President Obama with few options.

The administration has an obligation to house these children while their situations are examined. So, we understand why the president announced plans to use some $405 million intended for other Homeland Security functions to ensure the children are properly cared for.

Yet, that means funds that would otherwise go for drug-smuggling surveillance or technology meant to thwart illegal border crossings may be diverted.

We hope lawmakers, when they consider criticizing efforts to secure the border, will be honest enough to see their own complicity in forcing the rechanneling of funds. But perhaps that's asking for too much introspection from this bunch.

—The Denver Post, Aug. 5

 

Texas leads in emissions, fights change

It's unfortunate that discussion about climate change is draped in partisan rhetoric.

Texas could be a leader in addressing climate change. Instead, this great state is a leader in greenhouse gas emissions at tremendous potential cost.

Great challenges bring great opportunity.

Texas has an opportunity to invest and develop clean technologies and energy policies that could change this country and the world.

Investment that just might spare Texas' coastlines from rising sea levels. Investment that just might spare Texas' agriculture from blistering heat and prolonged drought. Investment that could bolster the state's energy sector long-term.

Unfortunately, we can't have this discussion in Texas because the very notion of climate change something that has near universal scientific consensus is simply dismissed as liberal engineering by many of our leading politicians.

Gov. Rick Perry has repeatedly cast doubt on climate change science.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, has sued the Environmental Protection Agency over its right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and lost.

Abbott's gubernatorial opponent, Wendy Davis, has underwhelmed us on climate change.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, who is the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is missing in action on this issue. His denial of climate change is nuanced but his non-record speaks for itself.

After NASA recently launched a spacecraft to study carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, Smith was full of lament.

"I worry that if NASA is asked to collect greenhouse gas data, it will have to sacrifice its core exploration mission," he said.

We didn't buy it. We fear that his fear was that even more NASA data on greenhouse gases would solidify the facts that what makes this cycle of climate change different is man's contribution to it.

—San Antonio Express-News, July 27