The Republican Party is divided over whether to attack the science of climate change when opposing liberal policies.
Many of the most vocal Republicans say they have significant problems with the scientific consensus that the Earth is warming and that greenhouse gas emissions from human activity is the main cause. The skeptics include presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.) and Rep. Lamar Smith (Texas), both chairmen of committees overseeing environmental issues.
But others in the GOP aren’t interested in litigating the science. They say it’s more important — and far easier — to show that Democratic climate proposals would be disastrous to the economy and kill jobs.
The split comes as more and more voters, particularly young people and minorities, say in opinion polls that they believe climate change is real and want action to fight it.
Democrats have lined up firmly behind that view, with President Obama set to implement carbon dioxide limits for power plants that amount to the most significant action yet by the federal government to fight climate change.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said that since science underpins climate change policies, it’s important to examine it in detail.
“We know that there’s an ideological obsession to advance on this global warming agenda,” said Sessions.