House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on February 28th announced the names of the Republicans he has chosen to serve on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The ranking Republican will be Representative Garret Graves of Louisiana, who, according to Politico, “acknowledges the reality of climate change and has confronted sea level rise affecting his own state.”
The other Republicans who will serve on the committee are: Representatives Gary Palmer (R-AL), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), and Carol Miller (R-WV). Palmer is chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. Palmer and Griffith are members of the House Freedom Caucus. Griffith and Miller represent coal districts. Graves and Armstrong represent oil states.
At first glance, the only Republican member who is going to talk the happy talk about finding “reasonable” solutions to climate change “that work” and “make sense” is ranking member Graves. Politico quoted what Graves told another publication, Odyssey, in 2015: “Based upon my previous life and doing coastal issues, we have observed changing in climate. To put your head in the sand and ignore that this is happening, I think is a real mistake for any party.”
However, as I reported in the February 15th Digest (posted here), the House Republican leadership seems to be encouraging their members to concede climate science and acknowledge that global warming is a problem that the federal government must address. Of the committees with jurisdiction, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee have so far been the only conspicuous exception to the happy-talk strategy.
Serving as a Republican on the Select Committee is going to be a lot of work and neither fulfilling nor fun. We will soon see whether they are going to challenge the phony climate consensus.