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This Week in Green – Nov. 22, 2010

“Follow the money!” warns departing Congressman

It’s amazing what losing an election will do to encourage speaking one’s mind. Just ask South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis, a conservative Republican who was defeated in this year’s primary elections by an even more conservative Republican.

Inglis broke ranks with his party in a big way Wednesday by publicly criticizing those who he believes are ignoring climate change and green technology.

As the New York Times wrote, Inglis took aim at “people who make a lot of money on talk radio and talk TV saying a lot of things. They slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and they’re experts on climate change. They substitute their judgment for people who have Ph.D.’s and work tirelessly” on climate change.
Inglis’ remarks came at a House Science subcommittee hearing. Inglis is a ranking member of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee. At least he will be until he’s replaced in January when Republicans – many of them newly elected like Inglis’ successor, Trey Gowdy – will take over the House of Representatives.

According to some reports, including one by ThinkProgress, as many as 50 percent of the incoming Republicans do not believe climate change is caused by man, and a stunning 86 percent are opposed to climate-change legislation. That includes Rep. Ralph Hall (TX), a leading candidate to take over the House Science and Technology chair. Hall has publicly stated that Congress should investigate President Obama’s climate policies, foreshadowing what could be an endless parade of hearings on the science of climate and greenhouse gases.

But for Inglis, all of that misses the point. Inglis believes America is missing a golden business opportunity.

“To my free enterprise colleagues, whether you think it’s all a bunch of hooey, what we talk about in this committee – the Chinese don’t, and they plan on eating our lunch in the next century, working on these problems,” Inglis said. “We may press the pause button for a few years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button.” (Watch the video)