Everybody expects there will be a host of Congressional subpoenas flying as soon as the next Congress is seated to investigate -- whatever. And first up to feel the wrath of the coming Republican inquisition may very well be any scientist who works in the field of climate science.
According to Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic, the House Republicans, likely led by Joe Barton, ranking member of the Energy Committee and its presumptive new Chair, or Darell Issa, intends to hold hearing to investigate scientific fraud concerning global warming.
According to Newsweek, the White House plans to aggressively enforce environmental regulations as they anticipate efforts from Republicans to strip authority from the EPA. Compromise on renewable energy standards is possible, but the posturing between Rep. Joe Barton, the chairman of the energy committee, and the administration, may make this terribly difficult. The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit.
How this will improve the economy or create new jobs I have no idea. However rest assured that the folks at Conservative think tanks funded by Exxon and other Big Oil companies who continually allege fraud by "environmentalists and scientists and Al Gore and God knows who else) will be trotted out to lambaste and accuse climate scientists like Michael Mann and James Hansen of junk science and outright fraud.
The Republicans who were elected on Tuesday almost unanimously either reject the science of climate change or the need to do anything about it, as Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal pointed out last week:
[V]irtually all of the serious 2010 GOP challengers have moved beyond opposing cap-and-trade to dismissing the scientific evidence that global warming is even occurring.
An analysis of the new Republican freshman class by Think Progress reveals that:
- 50% deny the existence of manmade climate change
- 86% are opposed to any climate change legislation that increases government revenue
And the presumptive Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is among their number. In fact you can expect action to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide and other green house gases beginning in January:
The presumptive new Republican speaker of the House, John A. Boehner of Ohio, has dismissed the idea that carbon dioxide is affecting the climate and has characterized cap and trade and other proposed solutions to global warming as job-killing energy taxes.
He and other Republican leaders in both houses, along with many Democrats and a number of state attorneys general, support measures to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, as it plans to do starting in January.
Noted Climate change denier, Senator James Inhofe (Rep.- OK) already called for a criminal investigation of climate scientists earlier this year.
Senator Inhofe released a minority staff report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which he is ranking member. Senator Inhofe is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether there has been research misconduct or criminal actions by the scientists involved, including Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science.
This report ... alleges:
[The] Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works believe the scientists involved may have violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, federal laws. In addition to these findings, we believe the emails and accompanying documents seriously compromise the IPCC -backed "consensus" and its central conclusion that anthropogenic emissions are inexorably leading to environmental catastrophes.
That report commissioned by Inhofe and his Republican colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee also made the following allegations against climate scientists:
Instead of moving forward on greenhouse gas regulation, the [EPA] should fully address the CRU controversy and the IPCC’s flawed science.
The scientists involved in the CRU controversy violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, may have violated federal laws.
In our view, the CRU documents and emails reveal, among other things, unethical and potentially illegal behavior by some of the world’s preeminent climate scientists.
One can only expect that Republicans, emboldened by the election results will attempt to further persecute and demonize those engaged in legitimate climate change research. They will do this despite the fact that every investigation of the so-called Climategate scandal to date has exonerated the scientists involved and stated that the consensus view that global warming is occurring and is primarily the result of human activity, is overwhelmingly supported by the scientific record.
[S]ince [the right wing media claimed the hacked emails behind the Climategate scandal proved climate change was a scam and a hoax], the grownups have stepped back to the fore, and five independent investigations have, as Steve Benen points out, "concluded that the integrity of the science is entirely sound" and that the "deniers' arguments were debunked."
This puts the Republicans in the extreme fringe position of being the only major political party worldwide, including other major conservative parties, that opposes doing absolutely nothing to mediate or halt the threat to human societies posed by man made global warming.
When British Foreign Secretary William Hague visited the U.S. last week, he placed combating climate change near the very top of the world's To Do list.
"Climate change is perhaps the 21st century's biggest foreign-policy challenge," Hague declared in a New York City speech. "An effective response to climate change underpins our security and prosperity." The danger was no longer just distant thunder, he suggested, warning that the recent devastating floods in Pakistan heralded the sort of extreme events that will become more common in a warmer world. "While no one weather event can ever be linked with certainty to climate change," he said, "the broad patterns of abnormality seen this year are consistent with climate-change models."
William Hague is not a holdover from the left-leaning Labor Government that British voters ousted last spring. He's not even from the centrist Liberal Democrats who are governing in a coalition with the Conservative Party of Prime Minister David Cameron. Hague is one of Cameron's predecessors as Conservative Party leader.
His strong words make it easier to recognize that Republicans in this country are coalescing around a uniquely dismissive position on climate change. The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones.
Dear Republican voters: you got played. Republicans don't care about helping you find a job or reducing the deficit. What they do care about is helping the people who have the most to gain from attacking Climate Science and neutering the EPA. Namely, the oil and gas industry, the energy utilities and the profits of any other business that would rather poison our air and water rather than create new jobs by investing in, and providing incentives for, green technologies for renewable energy.
Let's go down the list shall we? Republicans support the increased use of hydrofracking, a process known to poison ground water, create health problems for residents where it is conducted and releases methane, a far more damaging greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Just ask Karl Rove and he'll tell you Republicans support the use of hydrofracking 100%!
PITTSBURGH - Karl Rove, the Republican operative and former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, said Wednesday at an appreciative Marcellus Shale natural gas conference that the sweeping Republican victory Tuesday would put an end to most of the industry's legislative threats.
And Rove told the trade show, "I don't think you need to worry" the new Congress will consider proposed legislation to put the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing under federal rather than state regulation. The procedure, known as "fracking," is responsible for the dramatic growth of shale-gas drilling in formations such as Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale.
But that's not all. Republicans support making more offshore drilling everywhere easier despite the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Both Republicans jockeying to head the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Joe Barton of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan, have put Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson on notice that she can expect to be a regular in the hot seat and at the witness stand.
Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., in line to head the House Natural Resources Committee, said Wednesday he wants to "get much-needed answers" about the government's slow processing of offshore drilling permits and administration proposals to block energy production in some areas.
Yes, god forbid our government should be cautious about allowing further offshore deilling well permits after what BP did. Time to speed the process up, Ms. EPA chief -- or else!
And as for cleaning up the smokestack emissions of utilities that burn coal, well we all know where the GOP stands on that issue: Let the Dirty Air continue!
We will increase the production of American‐made energy in an environmentally‐safe way. This includes the exploration of next generation oil, natural gas, and coal and the production of advanced alternative fuels like cellulosic and clean coal‐to‐liquids – all while protecting our natural resources for future generations.
And if you believe that whopper ...
Karl Rove also stated at that same conference of oil and gas companies in Pittsburgh the "Climate is gone." Well, unfortunately for all of us he is demonstrably wrong. The Earth's climate is still in the building and kicking us all in the ass.
No, what's gone is any attempt by Republicans to pretend they stand for rational solutions to the major problems facing our nation and the world. What's gone is any pretense that the GOP is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dirty Air, Inc.
Of course, no one in the major media will dare speak this obvious truth. Why educate the masses of Republican voters who bought the lie that Democrats were evil incarnate, that Obama was the antichrist, that climate change was a lie to destroy our freedoms and that only Republicans could save us from the unholy fate which awaited us if we didn't vote for them.
Because reporting the truth is not the media's job anymore. Besides, it might cause them not to be invited to Mitch McConnell's next cocktail weenie roast. Far easier to regurgitate the stories manufactured by the right wing wurlitzer, or simply ignore the inconvenient facts. Why trouble their beautiful minds with such things?