McCain, Udall to hold climate-change hearing in Estes Park Monday

Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona continue their odd-bed-fellows magical mystery tour over the August congressional break with a field hearing on climate change in Estes Park Monday.

Following their tandem trip to McCain’s home state this week to visit Grand Canyon National Park, Udall and McCain will convene a public hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks at noon Monday at the Estes Park Town Hall to “discuss the impacts of climate change on Colorado’s parks,” according to a release from Udall’s office.

The two will first tour Rocky Mountain National Park to look for signs of global climate change.

“From bark beetle infestations to changes to wildlife habitat, Rocky Mountain National Park alone has undergone changes due in part to rising temperatures. The senators will discuss what climate change means for Colorado’s parks, and how they are adapting to and mitigating the impacts,” according to the release.

The two had a similar agenda at Grand Canyon National Park, where McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign opponent, Barack Obama, vacationed with his family last weekend, sparking first lady “Shorts-Gate” but precious little meaningful mainstream news coverage of critical but dull issues like encroaching uranium-mining claims.

Though he claims to channel Teddy Roosevelt, little in McCain’s environmental record suggests he’s much of a friend of the nation’s most famous national park, and during the presidential campaign he riled Colorado voters by suggested rules governing usage of the river that formed the Grand Canyon – the mighty Colorado – should be rewritten.

Udall took McCain to task for his gaff suggesting tinkering with the Colorado River Compact, so it’s interesting the two are now convening a field hearing so near the headwaters of the Southwest’s most critical waterway, albeit on the other side of the Continental Divide.

The hearing is open to the public but no testimony will be taken, so anyone looking to hijack the climate-change debate with anti-immigration health-care rants need not attend.

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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