by James Taylor
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is employing a full-court press on global warming this week, holding two hearings yesterday and another one later today. My colleague Aaron Stover and I are in Washington DC taking in the hearings. Here are some takeaways:
Republicans in the House Energy and Commerce Committee put on a very disappointing display yesterday. John Shimkus (R-IL) said in his opening statement that global warming is a “problem” that requires government attention and “solutions.” Greg Walden (R-OR) gave the other Republican opening statement, similarly whining about global warming and asserting that Republicans could craft better government solutions than Democrats.
Democrats called Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists as their lead witness. Ekwurzel, proudly noting that she was one of the four main co-authors of the recently published National Climate Assessment, did her best summary of alarmism’s most frequent talking points. Democrats called another few witnesses to testify about negative impacts of global warming.
Republicans were allotted two witnesses, and neither one contested any of Ekwurzel’s over-the-top assertions. Rather, both witnesses agreed that global warming is a serious, pressing problem. Rich Powell of ClearPath argued that massive government funding, subsidies, and expensive programs promoting ‘clean energy’ would be more effective than regulations and mandates. Powell said hydro, nuclear, and natural gas should supplement wind and solar power. Powell called for a ‘moon shot’ of government spending on ‘clean energy’ as the preferred Republican position. Barry Worthington of the U.S. Energy Association, an industry group representing all forms of energy production, called global warming a serious problem that requires all energy sources on board to solve.
Watching the hearing, I wanted to vomit. This was especially the case given that Republican staffers on the Committee invited me to meet with them a couple weeks ago and share strategy ideas. Moreover, I had provided them with rebuttal talking points to an alarmist science summary circulated by Democrats before the hearing. It turns out that all of that was wasted time. The Republican position at the hearing was essentially, ‘There is no daylight between the assertions of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Republicans on this Committee. We are united in our belief that global warming is a dangerous and imminent threat to our way of life. We Republicans believe that new programs to spend massive amounts of taxpayer dollars on the issue will be more effective than Democrats’ plans to eliminate certain energy sources and require specific greenhouse gas reductions by specific dates.’
While I was drawing the short stick of watching the Energy and Commerce hearing, Aaron watched the Natural Resources Committee’s hearing. Aaron reports a much better Republican performance there. Rep. Tom McClintock powerfully presented the case for scientific realism and lead witness Judith Curry made alarmist science assertions look silly. Unlike the bipartisan alarmist love-fest in the Energy and Commerce Committee, Democrats on the Natural Resources Committee resorted to unprofessional snippiness to counter the powerful Republican presentations.
Last night, Aaron and I had dinner with Rep. McClintock, other Committee members, and today’s Republican witnesses for an additional Natural Resources Committee subcommittee hearing – David Legates and Kevin Dayaratna. I can assure you that Republicans on the Natural Resources Committee will, unlike their colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee, stand up strong for sound science. The hearing takes place today at 2:00 pm Eastern.
You can view a livestream of the hearing here: