WASHINGTON, D.C. – Saying they have an "allergy to science," Democratic Washington state Congressman Jay Inslee called out Republicans Tuesday during a hearing on a bill to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, The New York Times reports.
The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 has nearly unanimous support in the Republican-controlled House. It would reportedly overturn the EPA's findings that heat-trapping gases pose a threat to humans and the environment. It would also prevent the EPA from writing regulations to control those gases.
Sponsors of the bill question the science behind the EPA's findings and say the rules would hurt the economy.
Inslee, one of Congress' loudest voices in the fight against global warming, arrived at the hearing with a two-foot-high stack of books and scientific reports. He allegedly used his time to call out Republicans, saying they have an "allergy to science and scientists," the Times reports.
“If Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein were testifying today,” Inslee said, “the Republicans would not accept their views until all the Arctic ice has melted and hell has frozen over, whichever comes first.”
Inslee also accused those involved in the energy industry with fueling a campaign to provide false information about global warming.
Representative Morgan Griffith, R-Virginia, also noted that ancient temperature records show periods of warming around the Earth over the centuries.
“What is the optimum temperature for man?” he asked. “Have we looked at that? These are questions that, believe it or not, I lay awake at night trying to figure out.”
Inslee traded barbs with Representative Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who offered to buy Inslee an e-reader to help him with his reading.
Scientists on both sides of the issue were invited to speak. At the end of the day, there was no indication that anyone on either side of the issue was swayed, the Times reports.