The House of Representatives voted yesterday to create a new congressional committee devoted solely to addressing the global climate crisis.
Unable to block the creation of the committee, House conservative leaders are now doing everything they can to neuter it. Conservative leadership aides reportedly told Republican members that a vote in favor of the bill creating the global warming panel “would put them out of running for a seat” on the panel.
Worse, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has named Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to be the committee’s top ranking Republican member. A look at Sensenbrenner’s record:
Sensenbrenner praised as ‘Inhofe of the House': “If there is an Inhofe on the House side, it has to be Wisconsin’s James Sensenbrenner Jr.,” says the American Conservative Union’s David Keene, referring to Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who calls global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” [Link]
Sensenbrenner led climate skeptic delegation to Kyoto conference: “As chairman of the Science Committee back in 1998, Sensenbrenner led a delegation of skeptics to the Kyoto conference and fought then-President Clinton’s attempt to go along with the Kyoto protocols.” [Link]
Sensenbrenner asked scientist about placing catalytic converters on cows to combat warming: “Does (it) mean to stop this increase in methane we’ve got to put catalytic converters on the backs of cows?” Sensenbrenner asked a climate scientist at a hearing last month. If cows are partly responsible for methane gases, Sensenbrenner said, that “could hit Wisconsin’s economy right between the horns.” [Link]
Sensenbrenner endorsed by Competitive Enterprise Institute: A spokesman for the oil industry-backed Competitive Enterprise Institute called Sensenbrenner “exceptionally well qualified” and “a good choice.” [E&E Daily, 2/17/07]
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) — who last month claimed that global warming may have been caused by “dinosaur flatulence” — was reportedly a finalist for the ranking member slot. Only 13 percent of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming, according to a recent poll, compared to 79 percent of Americans.