As first reported earlier today by the Wonk Room, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the top candidate for the chairmanship of the House energy committee, has questioned the science of manmade global warming and called for congressional hearings to investigate climate scientists. On January 14, 2010, Upton participated in a panel challenging the scientific consensus that fossil pollution is destabilizing the climate, moderated by global warming denier and right-wing radio host Frank Beckmann and featuring industry deniers Pat Michaels and Myron Ebell. When asked if “the emails from East Anglia University that seem to show a pattern of concealment at the least, deception at the extreme,” should “affect climate policy here in the United States,” Upton claimed that there is “no real science” that supports climate policy and then called for Climategate hearings:
All of the steps Americans were going to take, businesses and individuals, the added costs that we were going to incur — Consumers Energy told us just because of cap-and-trade, energy costs would rise in Michigan by almost 40 percent by 2020. Are any of those incurred costs actually going to impact the rising temperature of debate? The answer was no. No matter what we did between now and 2050, it, it, there was no real science to verify that it would reduce the temperature rise that some predicted. And that’s why we do need hearings.
Upton enjoys a reputation as a “moderate on environmental issues,” but he has become as extreme on global warming and other environmental rules as the other contenders for the chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce when Republicans take over the House of Representatives next year.