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Posted at 9:53 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

House Republicans nix global warming committee

By Felicia Sonmez

When the 112th Congress convenes in January, it will be without the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Wednesday night that House Republicans are nixing the committee as part of their pledge to "get rid of waste and duplication in terms of how we run the Congress."

"The global warming committee doesn't need to be a separate committee," Boehner said. "We believe that the Science Committee is more than capable of handling this issue, and in the process, we'll save several million dollars."

The committee, which was established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and approved by the House in the spring of 2007, was chaired by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). It did not have the power to pass legislation although it has held hearings on a host of climate- and energy-related issues.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the panel's ranking Republican and presumptive chairman in the 112th Congress, told reporters Wednesday that he had urged GOP leaders not to scrap the committee.

A spokesperson for Pelosi blasted GOP leaders for the decision.

"It is very disappointing that the House Republican leadership has decided not to prioritize addressing energy independence and climate change in the 112th Congress," Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill said. "Disbanding the select committee does not diminish the urgent need to act on these very critical issues."

By Felicia Sonmez  | December 1, 2010; 9:53 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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... energy should be as cheap as oxygen.

Edison spoke of it:

"This scheme of combustion to get power makes me sick to think of–it is so wasteful. It is just the old, foolish Prometheus idea, and the father of Prometheus was a baboon.”

“When we learn how to store electricity, we will cease being apes ourselves; until then we are tailless orangutans. You see, we should utilize natural forces and thus get all of our power. Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy.”

“Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property."

“There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen, for it cannot be destroyed."

Edison made that strong statement 100 years ago in 1910. About 20 years later, speaking shortly before his death, it became quite apparent that he felt as strongly about the issue as ever:

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait ’til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

The point is, the oil and coal billionaires would rather milk us to death before we tackle that.

Read: The Edison of Our Age

Posted by: HarryBraun | December 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The Bush administration was notorious for interfering with science. The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform charged the Bush administration with interfering with federal climate science, in order to underplay the significance of global warming. The committee issued a report after a 16-month investigation and released a memo stating that documents "appear to portray a systematic White House effort to minimize the significance of climate change."

An examination of thousands of pages of internal documents that the White House was forced at that time to relinquish under the Freedom of Information Act - as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former administration scientists and climate-policy officials - confirms that the White House has implemented an industry-formulated disinformation campaign designed to actively mislead the American public on global warming and to forestall limits on climate polluters.

The New York Times ran an article about the American Petroleum Institute in April of 1998. It outlines a very specific and detailed plan by oil and gas industry representatives to invest millions of dollars in an effort to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol and discredit the scientific consensus opinion that greenhouse gases are causing the planet to warm.

The draft plan, titled “Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan,” concedes that opposition to the protocol is not shared by the public or a vast majority of scientists worldwide. “There has been little, if any, public resistance or pressure applied to Congress to reject the treaty, except by those ‘inside the Beltway’ with vested interests,” it notes.

The New York Times reported that according to the document, a key component of the plan would be to “maximize the impact of scientific views consistent with ours on Congress, the media, and other key audiences.” To do this, they would “recruit a cadre of scientists who share the industry’s views of climate science and to train them in public relations so they can help convince journalists, politicians and the public that the risk of global warming is too uncertain to justify controls on greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide that trap the sun’s heat.

If none of that matters to you I suggest you listen closely to some of the more notable global warming deniers. You will find that most of them sound like they studied science at the University of Archie Bunker.

Find out more about what the smartest people on the planet think:

Read: Talent and Taste

Posted by: HarryBraun | December 5, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Desertdiva1 | December 2, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Awwww man. I was hoping we could spend some more money on not figuring out how to stop global warming. Check out this hilarious parody of global warming:

Posted by: gssmithut | December 2, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

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