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The Sciences

More bad news about the Congressional Energy Committee

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Remember yesterday when I pointed out the Republican Congressman Joe Barton who wants to be head of the Energy and Commerce Committee? Well, there are other Republicans vying for it. One of them is John Shimkus from Illinois. You need to understand that this Committee has a lot of overlap with the issue of global warming, as oil, gas, and coal are major contributors to the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere. Having said that, gird your loins to hear what Representative Shimkus had to say last year: Did you catch the important bit there? God will decide when to end the Earth, not man. The obvious inference is that Congressman Shimkus thinks humans cannot destroy the Earth, or hurt its habitability. Terrific. This is the same guy who tried to argue that producing less CO2would starve plants. The last thing this country -- this world -- needs, quite literally, is someone running the Energy and Commerce Committee who is this egregiously and willfully ignorant about global warming and the effects of carbon dioxide. Of course, tied for last place is Joe Barton. A third Republican, Fred Upton of Michigan, is also eying the top spot on the Committee, and I'm not sure he's a whole lot better. No matter what happens here, the news is either awful or worse. My only hope is that the Senate will stonewall any regressive measures made by the House... but that would mean the Democrats would have to stand up to the Republicans. We'll just have to wait and see how that turns out.

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