Republican Party leaders in the House of Representatives will decide whether Representatives Lamar Smith of Texas, James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin or Dana Rohrabacher of California will succeed Ralph Hall, also of Texas, as chair of the House Committee. Because of term limits, Hall cannot continue heading the group, which has jurisdiction over energy research, NASA, the National Weather Service and the National Science Foundation, among other things.
What follows is just a sample of the three would-be chairmen's public statements on climate change:
A 2009 statement by Rep. Smith that can still be found on his official House website, regarding the massively overblown Climategate scandal that involved emails stolen from East Anglia University:
"The [ABC, NBC and CBS television] networks have shown a steady pattern of bias on climate change. During a six-month period, four out of five network news reports failed to acknowledge any dissenting opinions about global warming, according to a Business and Media Institute study.
"The networks should tell Americans the truth, rather than hide the facts."
"In my lifetime, there has been no greater example of this threat [the military-industrial complex], which Eisenhower warned us about, than the insidious coalition of research science and political largesse--a coalition that has conducted an unrelenting crusade to convince the American people that their health and their safety and--yes--their very survival on this planet is at risk due to manmade global warming. The purpose of this greatest-of-all propaganda campaigns is to enlist public support for, if not just the acquiescence to, a dramatic mandated change in our society and a mandated change to our way of life. This campaign has such momentum and power that it is now a tangible threat to our freedom and to our prosperity as a people.
"Ironically, as the crusade against manmade global warming grows in power, more evidence surfaces every day that the scientific theory on which the alarmists have based their crusade is totally bogus. The general public and decisionmakers for decades have been inundated with phony science, altered numbers, and outright fraud. This is the ultimate power grab in the name of saving the world; and like all fanatics, disagreement is not allowed in such endeavors.
"Prominent scientists who have been skeptical of the claims of manmade global warming have themselves been cut from research grants and have been obstructed when trying to publish peer-reviewed dissenting opinions. How the mainstream media or publications like the National Journal, for example, have ignored the systematic oppression that I speak about is beyond me."
From Rep. Sensenbrenner's videotaped presentation on May 22, 2012, at a conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute of Chicago, which the New York Times calls "the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism."
"[T]he emails leaked from the East Anglia University . . . simply revealed to the world what we already knew. There is a portion of the scientific community that is more interested in defending its findings rather than in finding the truth. . . .
"Climategate revealed that climate science is less about honest debate than ideological warfare. Despite the relentless push to dismiss the emails and to clear the scientists involved, the leaked emails can only be honestly read as an exposure of partisanship among climate change scientists. For that reason, it tainted not only the science but the investigations that would follow as groups scrambled to exonerate the scientists involved and to minimize the impact of their words."
Meanwhile, scientific evidence is mounting that climate change is happening faster than most models had predicted.