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Energy / ENVIRONMENT

Congressional Republicans and Their Differing Views on Climate Change -- PICTURES

December 2, 2011

Republicans in Congress do not hold a unified position on climate change. National Journal interviewed 65 congressional Republicans about their views. Twenty said they believe climate change is causing the Earth to warm; 13 said that climate change isn't causing the Earth to warm; and 21 said that they didn't know, the science isn't conclusive, or they didn't want to answer the question definitively.

Here is a sampling of their differing views on climate change.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. "You mean the global cooling that's been going on for the last 10 years?" he said, when asked about global warming.(Chet Susslin)

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. When asked if he felt that climate change was causing the Earth to become warmer, West responded with a firm "No."(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas When asked if climate change was causing the Earth to become warmer, he said, "I don't think it's the cause. I don't think we can control what God controls."(Liz Lynch)

 

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. In the past, Lugar has gone on the record with his worries about the effects of climate change. He told National Journal: "Whether you buy climate change or not, as a public servant, you had better be prepared for many more climate disasters."(Susan Walsh/AP)

Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo. "If and when this happens, let's deal with it then.... If the level of the ocean goes up 3 inches in 75 years, to me that's not worth spending trillions of dollars."(Chet Susslin)

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif. "Should the government do anything about emissions? I think they ought to pray a lot. The Lord controls that."(AP Photo)

 

Rep. Charlie Bass, R-N.H. "Climate change is a global problem, and there is current science that indicates that one of the causes of CO2 accumulation in the environment is the combustion of hydrocarbons.(Cheryl Senter/AP)

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. "I have no clue [how much of climate change is attributable to human activity], and I don't think that science can prove it.... I certainly haven't seen anything that's conclusive, and anything that's claimed to be conclusive has proven to be somewhat sketchy."(Liz Lynch)

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md. “I don’t know whether we’re changing the climate or not, but for other really good reasons, we need to do exactly what [climate-science advocates] want to do, and that is move away from fossil fuels to renewables.… The innocence and ignorance in the general American public about energy matters is astounding. And we have truly representative government. People just buy into the notion that we’re the Saudi Arabia of coal: Don’t worry about energy; we have coal forever.”(UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg)

 

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. “I’m an optometrist, an eye doctor. I spent a lot of money retrofitting our computers because the world was going to end for Y2K. And I don’t think a single computer in the world did any significant damage. And the scientific belief that that was going to be a problem was almost universal.… When you look at the amount of CO2 that man contributes through manufacturing and stuff, it’s a very small percentage. Your ability to impact that small percentage is pretty minimal.… I don’t know that the science is really there that you could cut back and have a reasonable impact, even if it was man-made. But there’s no way to eliminate that and have the kind of civilization that we have now. We have to continue studying it.”

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn.“Yes, it’s happening. A lot of scientists say that it is.… I’m not a scientist, and I generally accept what the great body of scientists say.… But I don’t think there’s anything [in Congress] that’s going to be dealing with climate change in the near future.”(Liz Lynch)

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. “Is climate change happening? Yes. I don’t know how much [man-made emissions contribute], but the national academies of science of all the industrial countries say it’s a significant amount. So let me put it this way: If it were a house, I’d buy fire insurance.”(AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

 

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. “It seems to be a pretty good consensus over the past several years that there has been some warming. The question is, for us, to what extent is that man-made and what can we do, if anything, to reverse that — and should we?” The policy response thus far has been one that restricts individual freedom without real, commensurate benefits. The cap-and-trade scheme was certainly that. That was more an effort to get more revenue and have Washington dictate what people do. If you increase prosperity, more prosperous countries have better environmental records.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah “I’m skeptical on climate change.… I see too many things that contradict what Al Gore is saying.… I suspect we have some problems that are caused by pollution. But it’s crazy for us to unilaterally disarm ourselves when we’re in competition with the rest of the world. We all had 'soshes' in grade school and junior high — the popular people who seemed to write something that was totally false. We shouldn’t let the soshes govern us.”(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. “Do I believe in climate change? I do, yeah. With the weather patterns over the past five years.… What causes it? Quite honestly, I don’t know.… Humans have some effect on climate change. There’s so many factors.”

 

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. “I don’t think there’s conclusive evidence that mankind’s causing this.… I went to Greenland. I’ve gone through all the data; it’s not conclusive data. The climate’s changing, but it’s changed over the centuries.”(AP Photo/John Amis)

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