Some pundits are saying the Democrats may have their worst mid-term election night for 60 years.
All this means bad news for Obama’s environmental agenda and for climate science.
The fallout has already started.
The owner of the US’s only nationwide cap-and-trade market has signalled the death of the seven-year-old industry, saying companies were no longer interested in trading carbon emissions credits in the absence of government legislation.
And with a Republican House, and maybe even Senate, legislation is not going to come soon.
The anti-climate zeal is fuelled by the rise of Tea Party candidates for whom climate change denial verges on a religion.
“I think a clear majority does not accept human causality in climate change. It’s definitely not within the orthodoxy of conservatism as presented by Sarah Palin and folks like her,” Bob Inglis, a Republican member of the house science and technology committee who lost to a Tea Party candidate, recently told NPR.
So if the Republicans win control of the House, they plan to go after the Obama administration’s environmental policies and senior climate change researchers like Michael Mann.
First in their sights will be the EPA over its efforts to regulate CO2 emisssions. The GOP argues the EPA is damaging the economy.
A number of leading Republicans have already demanded that the EPA chief, Lisa Jackson, justify the potential cost to industry or employment of dozens of pollution controls – not just those regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
“They have made it clear they are going to go hog-wild in investigating the EPA,” one environmental lobbyist argues. “They said they want to keep Lisa Jackson tied up in a chair in front of Congress committees.”
Then they plan to investigate “climate–gate”, and senior climate researchers such as Michael Mann.
One way they will do this is through the Committee system.
Several key Republican Congressmen — most notably Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who could take over the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — have said they plan to investigate climate scientists, reports the LA Times.
Issa has already named Mann in a letter to the EPA as a scientist whose work was not “unbiased, accurate or reliable,” accusations that Mann vehemently rejects.
“I don’t think we can cower under the politically motivated attacks by the forces of anti-science, which includes prominent politicians who are in the pay of the fossil fuel industry,” Mann said in a telephone interview with the Times.
To see just how badly Darrel Issa is in the the pay of the likes of Exxon and Chevron, go here.