Griffs Notes 1/18/07

Speaker Nancy Pelosi highlighted the end of the House Democrats’ “First 100 Hours” by announcing the creation of a Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming today. Their list of accomplishments included passing a minimum wage bill, stem cell legislation, Medicare legislation, 9/11 Commission recommendations yet to be implemented and an energy bill to repeal oil subsidies to invest in alternative energy programs.

“It’s a very important issue and I’m very excited about it,” Speaker Pelosi said.

(It doesn’t hurt too that it snowed in Malibu. Or that a snowstorm blanketed Texas.)

So while the country was somewhat distracted by President Bush’s “Troop Surge” battle in Congress, Speaker Pelosi was making good on some promises and establishing what didn’t exist during the campaign of Nov ’06 – a real Democratic agenda. And global warming seems to be at the top of the list.

Al Gore must be beside himself – but more on that later.

As I have noted before, it is an El Nino year. That means the Jet Stream has shifted so irregular weather patterns are not necessarily unexpected. But the question remains: Is Global Warming really “junk science?”

I wish I could say for sure either way. But I can’t and I don’t know anyone who can with 100% accuracy. I took an informal poll among the engineers here at FOX (since engineers are pretty darn smart) and the prevailing sentiment was that it’s not likely to a major factor in our lifetime… but maybe there is something to the debate. Expect to be inundated with facts and data in the coming months.

Then there was yesterday’s story that the Weather Channel is considering “decertifying” scientists who dismiss global warming.

And let’s not forget that Gov. Schwarzenegger has taken an un-Republican stance on the issue by leading the global warming fight in California.

So agree or disagree on the fundamental question – Global Warming is here to stay… at least as a major policy debate in Washington.

President Bush’s uphill battle for support for the war in Iraq just got complicated as he now will have to establish some credibility on the Global Warming front and it will be very interesting to see what he has to say about it in Tuesday’s State of the Union.

Oddly too, Speaker Pelosi’s select committee establishment could sidestep oversight power from the new House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell setting the stage for an inter-party fight over jurisdiction. (At 80, Dingell is the oldest serving member of the House and a long-time defender of the auto industry.)

Too bad we can’t ask the polar bears what they think – I’d love to see one testify before Congress!