Brad Johnson at The Wonk Room reports that about half of the Republican caucus in Congress, taking into account the results of the midterm elections, “now questions the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is a civilizational threat.”
According to Johnson, “45 of 97 Republican freshmen and 85 of 166 reelected Republicans are confirmed climate zombies. There are no Republican freshmen, in the House or Senate, who admit the science is real.”
At the same time, Johnson says there are only four Republicans in the House “who publicly admit that global warming pollution is real.”
What does this all mean? Well, at the end of the day it’s further evidence that, as I reported yesterday, it’s going to be an uphill battle in the Congress to pass significant energy legislation. While the House has already passed a climate bill and we’ve know for quite some time that cap-and-trade won’t pass the Senate any time soon, it seems more likely now that less controversial proposals — like a renewable energy standard and an oil spill response bill in the Senate — will face difficulty gaining enough votes for passage.
Judging by Obama’s remarks on compromise yesterday, it looks like lawmakers are going to start with the lowest-hanging fruit. Yesterday, I wrote about a number of issues where Republicans and Democrats may be able to find consensus on climate and energy.