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House Republican Committee Leaders Begin Caving on Climate Science and Policies

Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Frank Lucas (R-OK), the ranking Republican members of the two committees with the most jurisdiction over climate science and energy-rationing policies, both sent strong signals this week that they will concede the scientific case for global warming alarmism and want to support “reasonable” measures to deal with it.  
 
Rep. Walden, ranking Republican and former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, published an op-ed along with two of his Republican committee colleagues headlined, “Republicans Have Better Solutions to Climate Change.” His co-authors were Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), ranking Republican on the energy subcommittee and former chairman of the full committee, and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), ranking Republican and former chairman of the environment subcommittee.
 
Their op-ed begins, “Climate change is real, and as Republican Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, we are focused on solutions.” Much of their article is devoted to criticizing the Green New Deal, but by hinting at support for subsidies or funding research for “clean energy” technologies they make it clear that their purpose is to triangulate their position.
 
Rep. Shimkus chose as a Republican witness at his subcommittee’s first hearing on climate change Rich Powell, executive director of ClearPath and ClearPath Action, organizations which are “developing and advancing conservative policies that accelerate clean energy innovation.”    
 
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) is the ranking Republican on the House Science Committee, which held its first hearing on February 13th. The subject was climate science, and Rep. Lucas made it clear that he doesn’t want to challenge the “consensus.”  
 
The Republican witness was Dr. Joseph Majkut. His written testimony is here. He now works for the Niskanen Center, which promotes global warming alarmism and energy-rationing policies.  
 
The Niskanen Center, which was founded by a former energy analyst for the Cato Institute and originally pretended to be libertarian, is providing assistance to the climate liability lawsuit brought by Colorado cities against oil companies. Niskanen also filed an amicus brief in support of New York City’s suit against BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell.  
 
Majkut previously worked for Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) during the period when Whitehouse was first proposing that federal racketeering laws should be used against oil company executives.  
 
Josh Siegel in the Washington Examiner provides additional detail on Republicans going green.

The Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee, under ranking Republican and former chairman Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), are taking a completely different approach. The committee is holding two full committee and six subcommittee hearings on various climate issues this month. The Republican witnesses so far have been solidly anti-alarmist, and many Republican Members have aggressively challenged the phony climate consensus.