Among the new Congress members taking seats are a doltish group of climate deniers who plan to launch an investigation in to fake controversies like ‘ClimateGate.’ Neela Banerjee of the LA Times explains further:
The GOP’s fire will be concentrated especially on the administration’s efforts to use the Environmental Protection Agency‘s authority over air pollution to tighten emissions controls on coal, oil and other carbon fuels that scientists say contribute to global warming. The attack, according to senior Republicans, will seek to portray the EPA as abusing its authority and damaging the economy with needless government regulations.
In addition, GOP leaders say, they will focus on what they see as distortions of scientific evidence regarding climate change and on Obama administration efforts to achieve by executive rule-making what it failed to win from Congress…Republicans assert that the science on climate change is not yet “settled,” despite the vast global scientific consensus about its human causes.
Sarah Laskow of Truthout notes some of the new climate denying senators:
These latter states include North Dakota, whose new senator, John Hoeven, made Gristâ€™s list, and Indiana. Also on the list are Marco Rubio, from Florida, Kelly Ayotte, from New Hampshire, and Pat Toomey, from Pennsylvania.
Perhaps most disheartening is the replacement of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) with Senator-Elect Ron Johnson. Johnson is to the right of the independent-minded Feingold on a host of issues, but as Mother Jonesâ€˜ Andy Kroll writes, â€œWhat landed Johnson in headlines earlier this year was his claim that climate change wasnâ€™t created by humans but instead was the result of â€™sunspot activity.â€™â€
This is more worrisome considering that President Obama seems to have given up on fighting for a climate bill.
I think there are a lot of Republicans that ran against the energy bill that passed in the House last year.Â And so itâ€™s doubtful that you could get the votes to pass that through the House this year or next year or the year afterâ€¦what weâ€™re probably going to have to do is say here are some areas where thereâ€™s just too much disagreement between Democrats and Republicans, we canâ€™t get this done right now, but letâ€™s not wait.
David Jenkins of the FrumForum urges Obama to use his “bully pulpit” and act on this issue:
There is a great case to be made for putting limits on GHG emissions to reduce our heavy dependence on finite fossil fuels, improve our national security, safeguard our atmosphere, and beat China to the punch by providing American companies the regulatory certainty needed to unlock investment in alternative energy and conservation technologies.
This is something that Americans of all political stripes could be convinced to support. Unfortunately, President Obama seems incapable of producing the passion, words or effort required to convincingly make that case to the public. â€œYes, we canâ€ has become â€œwell, maybe, if someone else goes first.â€