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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.

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

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  WWRND? (7+ / 0-)
    (in 1970), Richard Nixon's Administration officially created a new entity, the Environmental Protection Agency.

    1970 was a year of tremendous environmental action by Nixon and Congress.The President signed the National Environmental Policy Act on January 2nd, delivered a call to make "the 1970s a historic period when, by conscious choice, [we] transform our land into what we want it to become" in his State of the Union Address, and ended the year with the creation of an independent agency to regulate the environment.

    It's almost impossible to imagine such strong bipartisan support for environmental legislation these days, but politicians of all stripes were responding to real and serious problems in the country's towns, suburbs, and wilderness areas.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Fri Dec 16, 2011 at 10:18:54 AM PST

  •  Can we just send them to their bunkers now? (5+ / 0-)

    Why should they wait? I'm sure they have all their necessary luxuries ready for Armageddon, right?

    Meanwhile, maybe the rest of us can try to save the planet.

  •  just read in an email from (5+ / 0-)

    that 234 members of the House who voted for rushing approval of the Keystone XL pipeline received $42,374,100 from corporate polluters.

    Thank you for the links and the collection of quotes.

  •  Man won't destroy the earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Man will make earth a hellhole if we follow Republican policies.

    The earth will go on with us or without us.

    The choice is ours.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:03:54 AM PST

    •  The earth IS going to go on without us (0+ / 0-)

      I'd say we are already beyond the tipping point.   But, if we aren't now, then we will be by the time a majority of these Republican morons get run out of office/power.  

      We are at the point Fish where the choice is no longer ours.  'The curse it is cast', and The Times They Are a Changing for the worse.

      The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

      by deepsouthdoug on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But destruction is good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for disaster capitalism.

    If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:04:15 AM PST

  •  I think I've figured it out! (4+ / 0-)

    Republicans are VAMPIRES!

    But here's the crazy thing!  They don't live on blood...



    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:06:12 AM PST

    •  Let's be honest, this wouldn't be terribly (0+ / 0-)

      surprising if it were true.  I could see the house leadership all huddled around an oil barrel with straws after a hard day of killing endangered species.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:16:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP stupidity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's to the point I just think "Fuck them, they are idiots. Can't change the idiots, got to vote them out or revolt." As an aside, Grayson did a very funny post on his site on Gingrich-"Mouth of Newt". Highly recommend it, and Grayson to whom I contribute even though I live in the once liveable state of Ohio.


    by joedennis on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:13:30 AM PST

  •  Got yer smokin' hot talking points right here! (3+ / 0-)

    The argument about how they won't change policy based on unsettled scientific theories, even though they acknowledge that the climate is changing, makes zero sense.  It's like saying,

    Yes, your house is burning down, and you say Bob Smith started the fire.  We're not sure about that.  It would be reckless to put any water on the fire until we're sure if he is the one who actually set it.  In the meantime, we've got some jugs of kerosene out in the truck.  Help me carry them in, will you?

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

    by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:13:36 AM PST

  •  Keystone Cops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Keystone pipeline will NOT create 20,000 new jobs
    “Millions of Americans are desperate for jobs, and no single project promises more of them than the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast…. As the largest shovel-ready infrastructure project in the U.S., Keystone XL was expected to create 20,000 new jobs right away.”

    – U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar and
    Senate Minority Leader
    Mitch McConnell

    And that, of course, is false, and Lugar and McConnell have good reason to know it is false. The Keystone XL Pipeline, the centerpiece of the latest standoff in Washington, will not produce 20,000 shovel-ready jobs. Even TransCanada, the company pushing the pipeline’s construction, now acknowledges that it is false.

    The number that the company likes to throw around is now 13,000 direct construction jobs, but that too is misleading. When challenged, the company acknowledges that it is counting what you might call “job years.” In other words, TransCanada believes the project will produce 6,500 jobs that last for two years.

    Six thousand five hundred jobs is a far cry from 20,000. And even the 6,500-job estimate is much too high. According to an independent assessment by Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the project would produce between 2,500 and 4,650 construction jobs, and could even end up costing the country jobs, for reasons that we’ll get to below.

    Another possible source of the 20K myth

    Thetrans alaska pipeline was 800 miles and there were "10's of thousands" of jobs. Since the Keystone pipeline is 1700 miles sounds like somebody just multiplied by two.

    Although the legal right-of-way was cleared by January 1974, cold weather, the need to hire workers, and construction of the Dalton Highway meant work on the pipeline itself did not begin until March.[69] Between 1974 and July 22, 1977, when the first barrel of oil reached Valdez,[70] tens of thousands of people worked on the pipeline.[71] Thousands of workers came to Alaska, attracted by the prospect of high-paying jobs at a time when most of the rest of the United States was undergoing a recession.[72]

    Construction workers endured long hours, cold temperatures, and brutal conditions. Difficult terrain, particularly in Atigun Pass, Keystone Canyon, and near the Sagavanirktok River forced workers to come up with solutions for unforeseen problems.[73] Faulty welds and accusations of poor quality control caused a Congressional investigation that ultimately revealed little.[74][75] More than $8 billion was spent to build the 800 miles (1,300 km) of pipeline, the Valdez Marine Terminal, and 12 pump stations.[76] The construction effort also had a human toll. Thirty-two Alyeska and contract employees died from causes directly related to construction. That figure does not include common carrier casualties.[77]

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:15:46 AM PST

    •  And construction jobs are oh so temporary. (3+ / 0-)

      The costs are in maintenance, or more likely lack thereof, and resulting accidents, spills, explosions, leaks, climate change, instability, and deterioration.  

      And full failure to invest in a better, more sustainable, more equitable, more healthy future.

      •  Oh Progressives, that's what we do..!! (0+ / 0-)

        We build things....Roosevelt would approve the Keystone XL pipeline WITH RELISH..!!!!!

        Maybe we build a biofuels plant right beside the pipeline and see which is cheaper.....Tar sands is not exactly a preferable way to extract oil FOR ANYONE, including the oil and gas industry...

        The fact is that the cheap and easy oil is gone...and ANWR is out of the question..!!!  

        Let the Koch brothers have their victory on this...It's not worth losing the White House over...

        Lots of accidents, instability, and deterioration when Rooselvelt build the Hoover Dam..!!  I would rather have an oil leak over the state of Kansas than in the Gulf of Mexico or the Gulf of Alaska..!!!

        Keystone is an investment in a better, more sustainable, future...It's not ideal...But not only is it not the end of the world, it could have some positive effects..for what it is...

        Although I believe 100% in climate change, sustainability and renewables is a much stronger argument to get us to the same end products...!!!

        •  Roosevelt knew nothing of the impacts of the tar (0+ / 0-)

          sands or the implications of global climate change.

          Roosevelt might choose better investments than Keystone.

          Nobody is promising that if we have oil leaks over Kansas, we won't have them in the Gulf of Mexico or in the Gulf of Alaska.

          We need new, better, smarter investments in sustainable living.

  •  Nice wrap up--though by necessity of time and word (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    limitations, you left out tons of the gory details.

    We need to keep beating this drum.

    Short term profits for a few over health and welfare for the 99% is what this is all about.  

    Occupy is the best answer to all of this.  Having all voices heard.  Putting the people back in charge of their government and the government back in charge of corporations.

  •  Edward Bernays is proud.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    the veracity of "the science of propaganda" that he pioneered is definitely a "settled" question:  it works.   It worked for big tobacco, it's working for the oil companies and polluters today.

    Just like with tobacco, people will be dying when they realize the mistake they made.  

  •  Morgan Griffith (0+ / 0-)

    replaced Rick Boucher, the father of Cap and Trade, who tried to create a carbon emissions reduction plan that was politically viable.

    They brought in millions of dollars in 2010 and steamrolled him in advertising.

    When Rick Boucher was elected in the 80s, people in the 9th district didn't have universal running water. Many lived in trailers without plumbing or elecricity, and some lived in towns and neighborhoods without access to either.

    He was called a blue dog by some, but if he was told that his vote made the difference in passage and failure of a democratic bill, he'd cast his vote for it.

    He had principals, and he cared about his district and his party, unlike the dinos in todays blue dog caucus.

    Morgan Griffith does not live in Virginia's 9th district.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail.

    by OllieGarkey on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:30:00 AM PST

  •  I especially love the bible-thumper response: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    The earth “...will end only God declares it is time to be over...This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

    Why not?   Hasn't that always been god's modus operandi?  

  •  Conservative Christian world-view (0+ / 0-)

    is that man is puny and God is in control.  For many of them it is almost blasphemy to think that man could ruin the earth.

    "in a pleasant spring morning all men's sins are forgiven" - Thoreau

    by n8rboy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:31:34 AM PST

  •  There's a good Upton Sinclair quote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    on this about salary and truth, but since my memory's drawing a blank just google Upton Sinclair quotes.

  •  the new republican party- idiots electing idiots (0+ / 0-)
  •  when the earth cathces fire from the methane gases (0+ / 0-)

    being released where the perma frost is now melting, they will say it is an act of GOD.

  •  Rep. Shimkus.. (0+ / 0-)

    isn't a very good Christian apparently.  The bible specifically states that a flood WILL NOT be used to destroy the world, hence the existence of the rainbow as a symbol of the promise not to flood the world again.

    It's always astounding when I know the bible better than an evangelical conservative.  I guess having actually read the thing front to back at least once is pretty uncommon.

  •  I love this one: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Laconic Lib
    • 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.”

    "come clean about the real science" - they have

    "let the American people come to their own conclusions" - yeah, because your average American knows so much more than scientists who study this for a living.

    IMO, this is the no 1 biggest damage that the GOP has done to the public; their constituents are now immune to facts and science.  You don't need to be smart or informed to be the president, and anything that doesn't fit your agenda is a lie.  Stoopid is a badge of honor.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 11:08:21 AM PST

    •  "Let the American people... (0+ / 0-)

      come to their own conclusions" is code for "Give our RW radio/FOX news propaganda more time to disseminate our talking points on the matter.

      Demobots wage their battle to defeat the evil forces of the Republicons

      by Laconic Lib on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 11:30:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is mind boggling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    that Republicans would vote against the wellbeing of their children, grandchildren and their families for generations to come.

    To me, this is the ultimate evil.  Business before the health of human beings, clean water, biodiversity, etc.

    You know that never think of it that way or they could never sleep at night.

    My 8-year-old, Charlotte, asked if Herman Cain's tax plan was called, "Mine, mine, mine!"

    by Ellinorianne on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 11:11:41 AM PST

  •  Pro-Keystone Western Democrat here.... (0+ / 0-)

    The building of the Keystone XL pipeline CAN be done in a responsible way....

    Do not equate tar sands refining with coal-fired power plants, or even offshore drilling...

    There WILL BE some risk along the pipeline, but as PROGRESSIVES, that's what we do, WE BUILD THINGS...We build monuments and dams and buildings...ROOSEVELT WOULD HAVE APPROVED KEYSTONE...

    It will create jobs and deliver North American oil better than ANWR.....

    What you need to take from this argument is the fact that conservatives are admitting, by this project, that the days of cheap and easy oil are over...Perhaps we build Keystone along side a biofuels plant, and see what is cheaper per gallon....The tar sands will run out, just like the rest of the oil...The biofuels plant will keep humming as long as it rains and the sun shines....

    For 111th Congress, this appropriations deal and ensuing payroll tax cut and unemployment extension WAS A BARGAIN..!!!!  The crazies learned their lesson about holding the country hostage....Keystone is a small deal...The oil companies will meet their fate soon enough, and sooner than most of us know....

  •  This is why we should have resolved to put Cheney (0+ / 0-)

    Bush on trial for war crimes/treason. If we'd done that the GOP would have been completely consumed the last 3  years with defending their warmongering. They would have been on defense the whole time.
    As it is, they got up off the mat, got their second wind, and went back on the offensive.

  •  From the earliest time I can remember that I (0+ / 0-)

    became aware of the GOP stance on environmentalism
    I was certain at that point that only a fool would be a Republican.

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