Monday, May 18, 2009

Let the Gaffes Begin!

With the Energy and Commerce Committee having convened today for opening statements on the American Clean Energy Security Act, there were sure to be gems abound from folks who'd rather not see a commitment to a clean energy future, or a bill that protects our atmosphere, or are beholden to views espoused only by the most myopic (and/or greedy) oil executives.

Either way, here's a smattering of what should be a barrel full of incredible statements over the course of this week.

Everyone's favorite ranking member, Rep. Joe Barton (TX), alleged that the environmental benefit of the bill is "practically nonexistent" while alleging that his "Drill Now, Cap Never" approach would net us no further environmental harm. I mean, I guess the consensus of scientists as well as the Nobel-prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change could be wrong, what with their fancy carbon caps and environmental impacts. But, then again, it's not often that the National Academy of Sciences calls Congressmen out for their misguided attempts to undermine climate science.

Meanwhile, Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) cited his favorite nugget, the blatantly dubious Spanish study that asserted that investment in clean tech in Spain has cost the country jobs. Of course, Gabriel Calzada, the author of the study, is closely tied with ExxonMobil. His study has been debunked. See here. Oh, and here.

And then there's Rep. John Shimkus (IL), who has, in his zeal to defend American freedom from clean energy, sometimes been prone to slight exaggeration. Today was actually a light day for him. Opening his remarks with a casual "The day I have dreaded has arrived" (I hear he used to use that on dates), he pivoted nicely to the old "we all produce carbon dioxide" routine. Then again, if he had bothered to read the bill or pay attention at all these past few years, it would difficult for him to prove how this bill would impact any humans emitting less than 25,000 metric tons per year.

With the beloved Andre the Giant having passed on, it may be difficult to find someone who could prove Mr. Shimkus's fears of human CO2 regulation.

Keep following the latest in hilarity here through the week. For live updates, check out LCV's Twitter feed.