by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Top House Democrats finally got their wish to hold the first hearings on global warming in six years Wednesday, but both committee hearings meandered into discussions of civil rights, race and apocalyptic warnings without much talk about science.
The House Committee on Natural Resources hearing started off with testimony from Govs. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, a Democrat, and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, a Republican — both of whom support liberal climate policies.
During that time, Utah Rep. Rob Bishop questioned whether or not the climate hearing broke committee rules. Bishop, the committee’s ranking Republican, also wondered why the committee held a hearing on an issue outside its jurisdiction.
“Are these hearings simply for those of us around the horseshoe who are going to make legislation, or are these hearings designed for that group sitting at a table in the corner so they can write cute stories?” Bishop asked, pointing to where reporters sat in the hearing room.
The committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, responded that global warming “significance and consequences over all our jurisdictions.”
Bishop said he wanted a hearing “focused on solutions and not just empty rhetoric and fear mongering.” So, of course, the next panel of witnesses was stacked with activists making apocalyptic warnings.