10 December 2009

Capito on Short List for Copenhagen (Additional Update)

The Hill includes U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-2nd, as a potential member of a congressional delegation that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plans to take to the climate change conference now underway in Copenhagen.

One of six Republicans on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Capito is also listed as a contributor on the blog created by the National Journal devoted to the United Nations summit.

U.S. participants have also set up their own blog.

Capito told The Charleston Gazette in April that "she's 'not convinced' that human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide are leading to global warming that will alter the planet's climate in ways that could be dangerous."

"I'm looking at the studies, and trying to understand it," Capito was quoted as saying. "But I'm not convinced that the urgencies or the doomsday predictions are factual."

Capito made similar comments that month to Public Broadcasting, which reported that "she believes climate change exists, but she doesn’t think it’s as eminent as many make it out to be." With audio.

Along with the rest of West Virginia's House delegation (who do not appear on The Hill's list), Capito later voted against the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The Associated Press described it as a "complex" bill that "would require the U.S. to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and by 83 percent by midcentury." Capito also opined on the "cap and trade" measure in a press release.

More recently, Capito co-signed a letter to Obama administration officials that seizes on e-mails that AP reports were "stolen from the climate unit at the University of East Anglia."

"Those who deny the influence of man-made climate change have seized on the correspondence to argue that scientists have been conspiring to hide evidence about global warming," that article said. "Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have grilled government scientists on the leaked e-mails in a hearing Wednesday in Washington, but the scientists countered that the e-mails don't change the fact that the Earth is warming."

Update: Capito's office tells AP and others that she plans to attend with the delegation.

Factcheck.org, meanwhile, has assessed the situation involving the stolen East Anglia e-mails.

"Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of man-made global warming, its article said. "We find that to be unfounded."

2nd Update: After an "exhaustive review" of the 1,073 hacked e-mails, AP reports that the climate scientists involved "harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions."

Politifact, meanwhile, rates as "false" the statement by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., that the e-mails "debunk" the science behind climate change.

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