Climate Skeptics Spar for Gavel
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said he may be less popular than Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), but the California Republican claims he is the more aggressive and better candidate to combat climate advocates and otherwise lead the Science and Technology panel under Republican rule.
Rohrabacher gave his roughly 25-minute pitch to the House GOP steering committee Monday and said the Science panel should be used to spur the next generation of nuclear energy and give a platform to those that question or outright reject science suggesting that humans are causing global warming.
The panel “needs to be used as a bully pulpit because many of the issues brought up by the Democrats is based on phony science,” Rohrabacher told POLITICO. This especially is true of global warming, “which is a total fraud,” he said. “We need to make sure that the Science Committee has a debate which both sides can equally present their sides.”
Rohrabacher once joked that dinosaur gas might be the cause behind global warming.
“We don’t know what those other cycles were caused by in the past,” he said at a February 2007 hearing. “Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows?”
Regardless of who wins the gavel, the Science Committee chairmanship will lean skeptic.
Hall, a former Democrat who has been the top Republican on the Science panel for the last four years, has criticized the Obama administration for proceeding with regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
“I’ve had people tell me if we had all the money in the world, put it in Texas Stadium, people couldn’t change nature’s future one iota,” Hall told POLITICO earlier this month. Next year, he pledged to have witnesses “testify under oath what the facts are and not to throw away money on something that has real question whether or not it’s going to do what they say.”
And another skeptic may join the club. Rohrabacher suggested that Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) take the chairmanship of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee or another subpanel so “he could be the point person on the investigation of global warming.”
Sensenbrenner could use the subcommittee as a consolation prize if Republican leaders dismantle the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, where he is the ranking member.
Rohrabacher also told the GOP Steering Committee he’d like to move the jurisdiction over patent reform from the Judiciary Committee to Science as a way to create jobs.
“We need to write patent law based on what’s good for inventors, scientists and engineers rather than for lawyers and financial speculators,” Rohrabacher said.
Rohrabacher says Hall’s “the most beloved man in Congress,” but added that GOP leaders have a choice.
“If they want a steady hand on the tiller that’s respected on both sides of the aisle, they’ll probably pick Ralph,” Rohrabacher told POLITICO. “If they want somebody who’s gonna shake things up and come up with a bold agenda, they’re gonna want me.”
As for Hall, he said he thinks he’s got a good shot at the gavel, but isn’t declaring victory just yet.
“I’ve been to Vegas and it comes up two bells and when I reach down there to get the money a lemon will come up every time,” Hall said Tuesday. “I don’t reach for the money anymore until I get it.”
Asked why he’d make a better chairman than Rohrabacher, 87-year-old Hall replied, “I’m in better shape than he’s in.” Hall said he’s been running two miles every morning for 30 years.
Rohrabacher’s response? “Ralph might be able to beat me in a foot race, but I can certainly out surf Ralph.”
Original article found here.