WASHINGTON -- House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday accused President Barack Obama of using a trip to the West Coast to "push his climate change agenda" instead of addressing the California drought.
In a press release issued Tuesday, McCarthy criticized Obama's travel agenda, saying, "[A]s the drought worsens, he uses hardship in California to push his climate change agenda and fails to take action to pull back harmful regulations or implement a pending proposal to bring more water to the Central Valley."
California is dealing with a very serious drought this year. But that's not an issue divorced from climate change. As the Los Angeles Times notes, the National Weather Service reported that the first six months of 2014 were the hottest ever on record in the state, and were "nearly five degrees warmer than the 20th century average and more than a degree hotter than the record set in 1934."
Climate scientists say that greenhouse gases are driving higher average temperatures, which in turn cause more droughts. A recent paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters also described a direct link between California's recent drought and human-caused global warming.
Obama discussed climate change's role in the drought and Western wildfires at one of his fundraising events in Seattle on Tuesday evening, noting that, "A lot of it has to do with drought, a lot of it has to do with changing precipitation patterns and a lot of that has to do with climate change."
Earlier in the day McCarthy had criticized Obama for using the trip "to meet w/ donors & push radical climate agenda" in a tweet from the @GOPWhip Twitter account. That tweet was taken down a minute later, but was preserved by the Sunlight Foundation's Politwoops blog, which captures politicians' deleted tweets.
McCarthy spokesman Mike Long told The Huffington Post that the original tweet was replaced with another one "because it did not include a link to the blogpost, which was the purpose of the tweet."
McCarthy's office did not respond to a request Tuesday evening for comment about the representative's position on climate change and its role in the drought.