A resolution calling on the state DEQ and Office of Energy Resources to put together a report to the governor and a legislative committee on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, focusing on renewable energy opportunities for the state, was shot down in the Senate today, as several lawmakers questioned whether global warming is real. “There is some controversy over the issues of global warming and climate change,” said Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa. Said Sen. Mel Richardson, R-Idaho Falls, “Some facts … are accepted by many people but I don’t think they’re proven.” Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, said, “As we look nationally, we know that only one side of the debate has been funded.” He said, “I don’t want to see industry squoze down.”
Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise, spoke out for the measure, SCR 128, which she noted is a follow-up to an executive order from the governor. “The scientific evidence is compelling that global climate change poses a threat to Idaho’s public health, natural resources, environment and to our most vital industries, including tourism, agriculture, recreation and forestry,” she told the Senate. Sen. Brad Little, R-Emmett, said, “There is no doubt in my mind that recently the climate has warmed. … I know that I feed a lot more hay than I used to. … I’m here to say that I think looking at renewable energy is something we ought to do.” But Sen. Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said, “It seems to me maybe we’re pandering just a little bit to some of the extreme environmentalists.” The measure failed on a 13-20 vote; click below for the roll call.