The House Energy and Commerce Committee was the site of a climate change Colorado showdown Tuesday. Considering a bill that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, the committee’s majority Republicans voted in lockstep against broad consensus among the world’s scientists that climate change exists. Colorado Democratic member of the committee Rep. Diana DeGette introduced an amendment that asserted that greenhouse gases generated by human activity were the “root cause” of global warming. Colorado Republican Rep. Cory Gardner joined with the other thirty Republicans in voting down DeGette’s amendment and two other similar amendments put forward by Democrats.
“I would urge my colleagues to support this amendment and reject any kind of fuzzy science,” DeGette said at the hearing.
National media outlets have reported the hearing as a scandal of the politicization of climate science. Reports have highlighted the unanimity of the Republican vote and pointed out that those same Republican members of the committee have been heavily subsidized in their election campaigns by the Koch oil fortune. The members’ position on climate change not only opposes scientific consensus but does so in a way that directly benefits polluting industries.
ThinkProgress reported Tuesday that the Republicans and three Democrats who voted in favor of HR 910, the EPA bill, have received in total of $343,750 from conservative-politics-backing Koch Industries. Gardner reportedly took $10,000 from Koch last year during his Fourth District campaign against Democrat Betsy Markey.
DeGette’s amendment asserted that “the scientific evidence is compelling” that humans have elevated greenhouse gases and that those gases “are the root cause of recently observed climate change.”
The amendment failed on a 21-30 party line vote.