Tuesday, March 15, 2011

House Energy Committee Votes Against Climate Science

Today, the House Energy Committee voted 31-3 to send H.R. 910 to the House floor for a vote. The bill would repeal the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that climate change endangers public health and the environment under the Clean Air Act, thereby preventing the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other major sources. All Republicans on the committee and three Democrats voted in favor of the legislation. Nearly all of the Republicans on the Committee are on the record as "climate deniers" and have publicly attacked climate scientists.

It is, of course, a vanishingly small possibility that climate deniers are correct about anthropogenic climate change. Ironically, the bill they voted for today has about the same chance of ever becoming law. To do so, it must be enacted by the Republican-controlled House (which is probable), the Democrat-controlled Senate (which is highly unlikely), and then either signed into law by the President (which is virtually inconceivable, although with President Obama's recent record on climate change, one begins to wonder) or enacted over his veto by a 2/3 majority of Congress (which is also inconceivable).

However, even if everyone believes the bill is going nowhere, we should beware of drawing facile conclusions about the actual beliefs and intent of House Republicans concerning climate science and policy. Legislators may simply be pandering to their base. Even if that's true, however, their willful anti-scientism and ignorance of facts is both appalling and deplorable.

1 comment:

  1. That the U.S. Republican politicians have reached this point is actually scary. One can only wonder what tricks they still have up their sleeves just to avoid taking responsibility in the climate change debate. Unfortunately, passing laws does not stop climate change. I hope they do not learn it the hard way.

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