Photo via cisdallas.org
Last week in Congress was dubbed the "mother of all climate weeks", and with a parade of hearings from heavyweights like Al Gore and Newt Gingrich, it certainly seemed to fit the bill. Of course, nothing was resolved about the massive climate bill the congressmen were debating, and things got a little ugly. So ugly, in fact, that some Republicans decided they didn't want to deal with it at all, and that instead of continuing to engage the bill and sit in on actual hearings, they're holding a mock hearing.Politico puts it simply:
While Democrats bicker over a sweeping climate change bill, Republicans are going rogue, crafting an alternative hearing stacked with people they agree with.
One may ponder the usefulness of holding a fake hearing filled only with people who tell you what you want to hear (and you'd be right in doing so), but the event does probably have a purpose. Many Republicans may have felt that there was a bias in the selection of those allowed to give testimony, and that their side (which advocates abstaining from a cap and trade due to economic strain) wasn't fairly represented.
So, hot off the heels of the media attention-grabbing tea bagging events, perhaps they decided to stage yet another mock event. But they're inviting real experts to try to counteract the testimonies from the witnesses at the real hearings. You know, all those scientists who say that climate change is a problem, and stuff like that.
The fake hearing will focus on the alleged raised energy costs for consumers.
Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana has invited John Engler, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers . . . and a handful of other experts to make the case that a carbon cap will dramatically increase energy costs for consumers.
Which is a valid enough concern, but raising the issue again in a middle school-style mock hearing isn't doing the cause any favors. After all, only 13 Republicans will be attending (other greener GOP members probably have better things to do), and the event seems to lack any sort of relevance. But who knows, it could be fun—and hopefully the AV club can get the whole thing on video for the participant's parents to watch someday.
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