Climate Denier Congressman to Lead Global Warming Committee?


Photo: FaceMePLS, Flickr, CC BY

As you've likely heard by now, it's looking pretty likely that the Democrats are going to lose their majority in the House of Representatives in the November elections. One of the results of that outcome would be a shakeup in the House Committees -- the specialized sub-organizations where policies are researched, and bills hashed out and readied for the floor on Congress -- and leadership transferred over to the GOP. This could yield, shall we say, an interesting result in at least one case. The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, currently helmed by Rep. Ed Markey (co-author of the climate bill and leading BP spill investigator), could be taken over by a full-on climate skeptic for one reason only: "Sweet revenge," as Politico puts it.Politico writes:

Most House Republicans envision killing Nancy Pelosi's special global warming committee if they claw their way back into the majority this November. But one senior GOP lawmaker has another idea in mind: sweet revenge.

Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner wants to keep the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming alive so it can investigate climate science and police President Barack Obama's green policies.

Sources note that Sensenbrenner has never been serious about his position on the committee, and has often used it to harass the other members for their dedication to addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With his leadership of the Global Warming committee, he will primarily seek to show that global warming doesn't exist.

And in case you're counting, that makes two top GOP Congressmen who've vowed to "investigate" climate science with their new power come November -- Rep. Issa of California has said that he would use his power as the chairman of the Oversight Committee to continue to beat the dead horse of, er, investigate so-called Climate Gate. An amusing aside is that these leaders appear at odds with one another -- Issa apparently thinks Sensenbrenner should give up the committee that he's not really serious about:

"Fewer committees with more real jurisdiction should be our goal," Issa said. "[The Energy Independence and Global Warming committee] was a made-up committee for show and for travel and much less any real jurisdiction." Yes, a "made-up" committee designed to address the "made-up" problem that the vast majority of scientists agree is one of the greatest threats to our planet. If ever a problem called for the creation of a committee, climate change would be it. And shouldn't achieving energy independence continue to be a goal, whether you're a climate skeptic or not? Shouldn't these GOP leaders aim to reduce our reliance on foreign oil as well, as a straightforward national security measure? That seems to be a sound pursuit whether or not you accept climate science or not.

More on Congress and Climate Change
Amateur Climate Change Deniers Still Rampant in Congressional Hearings
The 7 Things That Killed the Climate Bill
Final Thoughts on a Dead Climate Bill

Tags: Congress | Global Climate Change | United States