U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith. (Jay Mallin)

When are degrees from Yale and Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law not enough education?

When they are held by U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science Committee, according to 314 Action, a nonprofit advocacy group for promoting science education.

314 Action announced March 16 it had launched a campaign “to put members of Congress who are anti-science under the scope.” With the campaign, the advocacy organization identified the lack of science backgrounds held by Smith and other policymakers in key positions.

“By scrutinizing their actions and voting record that go against the facts and data, we will bring attention to practices and policies that are decidedly anti-science. It is no longer the time to sit idly by as partisan motives are promoted in direct opposition to leading scientific consensus on topics such as climate change, clean energy and evolution. 314 Action is committed to holding these members accountable for their actions and their votes,” the organization’s fundraising drive material states.

Referring to Smith as a “darling of the oil and gas industry,” 314 Action tagged him as “one of the most anti-science members of Congress.”

Smith has “tried to slash NASA’s budget for earth sciences. He’s subjected grant reviews at the National Science Foundation to extra scrutiny and has become one of Congress’s most prominent global warming skeptics — once railing against environmentalists and the media for buying into the ‘climate-change religion,’ ” the 314 Action statement said.

Jennifer Pett, a spokeswoman for Smith, did not return a call by press time.