An outgoing Republican congressman attacked his conservative colleagues for ignoring the problems the United States may face due to climate change at a House Science subcommittee hearing Wednesday
“I would also suggest to my Free Enterprise colleagues — especially conservatives here — whether you think it’s all a bunch of hooey, what we’ve talked about in this committee, the Chinese don’t,” Rep. Bob Inglis (R-DC), a ranking member of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, said.
“And they plan on eating our lunch in this next century,” he continued. “They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that’ll lead the 21st century. So we may just press the pause button here for several years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button.”
According to an investigation by ThinkProgress, approximately 50% of incoming Republicans deny the existence of man-made climate change and approximately 86% are opposed to climate change legislation.
“They plan on leading the future,” Inglis said. “So whether you — if you’re a free enterprise conservative here — just think: it’s a bunch of hooey, this science is a bunch of hooey. But if you miss the commercial opportunity, you’ve really missed something.”
All four Republicans currently looking to head the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees climate and energy issues, are opposed to climate change legislation.
One contender, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), said he opposed cap and trade legislation because God would not allow the Earth to be destroyed by global warming.
Another congressman seeking to head the House Energy committee, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) apologized to BP for the US government’s insistence that the oil giant set up a fund to compensate oil spill victims.
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), who will likely be the next chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, another influence committee in regards to climate legislation, said Congress should investigate the Obama administration’s climate policies.
“Reasonable people have serious questions about our knowledge of the state of the science,” Hall said Wednesday. “We must hold this Administration accountable for meeting a level of scientific integrity the public expects from their government.”
Scientists should expect to be asked to appear before the next Congress to testify about climate change, according to Inglis.
“Those will be difficult hearings for climate scientists,” he said. “But, I would encourage you to welcome those as fabulous opportunities to teach.”
Inglis was defeated by tea party-backed primary challenger Trey Gowdy this year.
Video of Rep. Bob Inglis comments are below.