Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) announced his intention to become the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, now headed by Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has said that global warming is a hoax. Warner has called for action against climate change, and his ascension to a leadership post would accelerate significant changes already underway.
"That could drastically change the way that committee operates," said Karen Steuer, government affairs chief at the National Environmental Trust. "We might see, on a number of issues, bipartisan legislation coming out of that committee, and that would be a huge step forward. . . . In one fell swoop, it's gone from the Dark Ages to the Space Age."
The Senator from Oklahoma lives in the Dark Ages
First, however, GOP senators must decide whether Warner's seniority on the committee grants him the right to be the ranking Republican. Inhofe issued a statement saying that he thinks Warner "has misunderstood the rules" and that "I intend to retain my leadership position in the 110th Congress, returning as the Ranking Member" of the environment committee.
Warner responded in a statement: "I carefully reviewed the rules in consultation with the Secretary of the Majority, who assures me that my seniority on the Committee forms a clear basis, under longstanding precedent" for claiming the top Republican spot. Warner will surrender the Armed Services Committee chairmanship and assert his party leadership claim on the environmental panel.
If the Republicans bounce Inhofe from his leadership post on this committee, it will be because he is an embarrassment and an outright danger to the health and well-being of the world.In Oklahoma, we need to be sure Inhofe is not re-elected to the Senate. Some village is missing an idiot.