Opinion: Tom Reed – Incompetent or Corrupt?

Tom Reed: Incompetent or Corrupt? I want to pose this question to the 23rd Congressional District of New York; is Tom Reed just incompetent or is he a corrupt bureaucrat? I ask this because recently I emailed Congressman Reed asking him to use his influence and leadership as this area’s Representative to urge our New York State Senators to vote on and pass the Community Leadership and Climate Protection Act (CCPA). I told him how I am an atmospheric science PhD student at Cornell University, and how important it is for New York to pass this legislation. Despite his unwillingness to do so, New York did indeed pass the CCPA.

However, I did receive a written response from Congressman Reed. While I sincerely appreciate that he (or perhaps a staffer) took the time to respond to my message, there was something in it that made me seriously question whether Tom Reed is incredibly incompetent and oblivious or if he is downright corrupt. In his letter to me, Mr. Reed said, “While I recognize the reality of climate change, the causes are debatable. It is important that we ensure the facts prevail.” 

So, Congressman, I present you with the facts. As a member of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Reed has an astronomical amount of resources at his disposal. Did you know that over 13 federal agencies participated in the creation of the 4th National Climate Assessment that was released last year? The Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Interior, State, and Transportation, in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian, and the U.S. Agency for International Development all participated in the creation of this document. Not to mention the hundreds of experts from institutions around the country that also helped. I bet, if he so chose to ask, many individuals from those agencies and institutions would come and speak to him about their areas of expertise. 

He also serves a large area of New York State. His constituents, that is to say we, are also a resource for him. Cornell University is within our district. If he wants to ensure that the facts prevail, as he said to me in his letter, then come to Cornell and hear the facts. 

Because the fact is that carbon dioxide, which is being emitted at unprecedented rates because of human activity, absorbs infrared radiation. The Earth itself emits infrared radiation. Carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation that is directly emitted from the Earth. So if we put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect will get stronger and the planet will warm. Not getting all of the necessary information to make an informed decision as a United States Congressman is the definition of incompetence. 

But maybe he already knows all of this. It is required by law that federal candidates disclose where their campaign contributions come from. In the 2018 election cycle, two of his top three campaign contributors were from fossil fuel companies. NextEra Energy, a Florida based electric power generating company, came in at number two. While NextEra Energy does produce some renewable energy, the truth is that only 37 percent of their energy production in 2018 came from renewables, while 48 percent came from fossil fuels. Why is a Florida energy company contributing to an Upstate New York Congressman’s campaign anyways? 

The next top campaign contributor was a company called Otis Eastern. Otis Eastern is a fossil fuel pipeline construction company. When you look at his entire time in office, the Oil and Gas industry is the Congressman’s third biggest campaign contributor.

So maybe the Congressman already knows that human activity is warming the planet. Maybe he knows that the facts have prevailed and that the cause is not debatable. Maybe he has just been bought. When the very companies who would benefit from inaction on climate change have given you over $600,000 to get you elected, maybe you stick your head in the sand and play dumb. 

This leads me back to my original question that I pose to NY-23; is Tom Reed incompetent or is he corrupt? You decide.


Colin Evans 

Owego, N.Y. 

4 Comments on "Opinion: Tom Reed – Incompetent or Corrupt?"

  1. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on it” Upton Sinclair. If Reed understood clear science and acted on that knowledge, many campaign donations would stop.

  2. George had you and yours in mind when he had his say
    Why your group wants to close down the science as a closed subject

  3. Which is worse, incompetence or corruption? I suppose those that vote for him deserve what they get. But the rest of us neither want nor deserve either in our elected leaders and must work to vote him out!

  4. Florence Alpert | October 3, 2019 at 9:48 am | Reply

    In response, Go back and listen to the video of George Carlin with his keen insight and why his sense of ironic humor conveys the truism of his message in today’s climate. Exactly what is missing in our current SJW society. Any meaningful interaction is met with a condescending reply and/or position of progressive vs conservative. Common sense has been thrown out the window. The majority of all peoples live their entire lives in a world far removed from the Universities and the progressive doctrines of progressive policies. It is in that world which policy created by the progressive is in fact regressive for a conservative. Tom Reed is such a person who recognizes this. He lives in the “Real World” representing the very people who get up everyday and take care of the business of the day, family, friends and community and wants no more than the space to do it with out micro-management by someone(s) who think they know better what he should want for himself. Why Tom was elected the first time and as long as he continues seeing both sides of the issue and representing the majority of those voting, will continue to be re-elected. You too have the same right. So I say keep staying involved, as you pointed out we all deserve to have an elected leader who serves his voters.

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