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Eco-destruction is what Republicans know best.  
(Sven Eberlein/Daily Kos Photo Cooperative)
The good news is that Congress is packing up to get out of town for the holidays. And while members can expect to be called back to deal with the payroll tax extension, there is only a limited amount of additional damage they can do to the environment in the first session of the 112th Congress. The bad news is that we still have the second session to deal with.

The first session was a doozy, according to a report released Thursday by Reps. Henry A. Waxman, Edward J. Markey and Howard L. Berman, all of them Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. House Republicans, the report states, voted 191 times against environmental protections. That amounts to an average of more than one vote against the environment for every day Congress was in session, and more than a fifth of all roll-call votes on legislation this year.

“House Republicans didn’t wait until Christmas to hand out gifts to polluting industries. They’ve been doing it all year long, amassing the worst environmental record of any Congress in history,” said Rep. Markey. “These votes are just a preview of coming attractions if the fossil fuel industries get their way and place more Republicans in Congress and the White House.  With that kind of cast, anti-environmental blockbusters will be the norm, sending more mercury into our kids, more air pollution into our lungs, and more carbon pollution into , our atmosphere.”
The votes came so thick and fast that the report had to be divided into 10 categories of actions: Blocking Efforts to Prevent Climate Change; Undermining the Clean Air Act; Undermining the Clean Water Act; Removing Protections for Public Lands, Fish and Wildlife; Weakening Safety Requirements for Offshore Drilling; Cutting Support for Clean Energy Technologies and Programs; Allowing Unsafe Disposal of Toxic Coal Ash; Curtailing Review of the Keystone XL Pipeline; Reducing Funding for Environmental Protection; and, Reducing Funding for Environmental Protection.

Whew. Give the GOP credit for thoroughness in their desire to roll back 40 years of environmental progress. Whether they really believe the nonsense they spout or they just do it because the Koch Bros. and other backers tell them to is impossible to glean. Ignorance runs deep, but self-interest always trumps. Here's a sample of, depending on which you believe, idiocy or connivery from the report on climate change:

• Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) stated that while he accepts that 2010 was one of the warmest years in the last decade, “I do not say that it is man-made.”

• Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX) stated that “the science is not settled and the science is actually going the other way.”

• Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, called on Al Gore to “come clean about the real science surrounding climate change and let the American people come to their own conclusions on global warming.”

• Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and the
Economy, rejected the dire warnings of climate scientists and said the Earth “will end only God declares it is time to be over.  Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

• Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, stated, “I  don’t think anyone could come to any conclusion whether it is real or not.  Until we can see sound science that’s truthful, I don’t think anyone can make a decision based on that.”

• Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) stated that “no one knows” whether man is responsible for climate change.  He said it is “just the height of chutzpah for us to be claiming that man-made effects can change something as profound as the climate on this planet.  The climate has changed over eons.  Man has had nothing to do with it.”

• Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told reporters that she does not believe that the science
behind climate change is “settled.”

• Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that the “debate on the causes of climate change are [sic] far from settled.”

• Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) stated that “anthropogenic global warming is still an issue
that the scientists are still debating.”

• Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) called it “reckless” to cut greenhouse gas emissions “in order to address a scientific theory — man-made global warming — that many scientists do not even believe is happening.

• Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) admitted that the climate is changing but said that he does not “believe humans are causing that change to the extent that’s been in the news.”

• Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said that the cause of climate change “could just be a shift on the axis.”

Extremism in the defense of corporate power and against the environment, people's health and the most elementary common-sense is nothing new, of course. But it's always good to have the kind of details Waxman, Markey and Berman have delivered to us.

You can click on a table to check out how your Representative voted by scrolling to the bottom here.

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Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 10:05 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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