The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has named a climate science denier congressman as the new chairman of the subcommittee responsible for climate change issues. With Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) as subcommittee chair, House Science has no shortage of climate deniers making science their prime target.
Stewart uses familiar Republican tactics to argue against cutting our greenhouse gas pollution: He told Mother Jones he is unconvinced anthropogenic global warming is “based upon sound science” — despite 97 percent of climate scientists saying otherwise — “before we make any long-lasting policy decisions that could negatively affect our economy.”
Stewart also told The Salt Lake Tribune:
“I’m not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is. I think it is probably not as immediate as some people do.” [...]
“What is the real threat? What are the economic impacts of those threats? And what are the economic impacts of those remedies?” he asked, explaining his approach. “Some of the remedies are more expensive to our economy than the threat may turn out to be.”
For more context of Stewart’s views, just look at where he is directing the subcommittee’s attention. At a hearing Wednesday, Stewart knocked the EPA’s extensive review of rules that protect the air and lamented that industry-funded research play too small a role at the agency. Not surprisingly, oil and gas was a top player in funding Stewart’s election to Congress.
Weeks ago, House Science attempted to hold a hearing stacked with climate deniers as witnesses (only to be foiled by bad weather that same day).
Back in Stewart’s home state, The Salt Lake Tribune has urged Utah leaders to take the opposite action. In a strong editorial, the paper pointed fingers at lawmakers for their ignorance, “blind or willful,” that has “transformed climate change into a political issue rather than the global threat it clearly is proving to be.”