‘Climategate’ hasn't swayed swing votes on climate change bill

‘Climategate’ hasn't swayed swing votes on climate change bill

Centrist Republican Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Overnight Health Care: House leaves out ObamaCare fix from funding bill | Trump appointees pushed to end teen pregnancy program | Key Dem raises concerns over potential CDC pick MORE (Maine) argues that the "climategate" e-mails should be probed on Capitol Hill, but the e-mails haven't changed her views on global warming.

“There appears to be sufficient controversy and concern that I think it warrants the Environment and Public Works Committee taking a look at it,” said Collins, a swing vote in the looming Senate fight on cap-and-trade, in the Capitol on Sunday.

She told The Hill that the e-mails, hacked from a British research institute, led her to check in with two scientists at the University of Maine on the matter. “They are disappointed at what appears may have happened, but they tell me it does not change their own conclusions or their own research,” she said. Collins still believes humans are causing climate change.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps Overnight Energy: EPA plans to restrict use of science data for regs | Pruitt's Italy trip cost more than K | Perry insists he's staying at Energy Senate sides with Trump on providing Saudi military support MORE (D-R.I.) said he does not believe the e-mails are jeopardizing Democratic swing votes. Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump presses GOP to change Senate rules Only thing Defense’s UFO probe proves is power of political favors Nevada Democrat accused of sexual harassment reconsiders retirement: report MORE (D-Nev.) hopes to bring a climate and energy package to the floor in the spring.

“I am not hearing anybody on our side, even the people who are more economically concerned about the climate legislation who come from coal states, that sort of thing, saying, 'What are we going to say about this, is this a problem?’ ” said Whitehouse, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee who backs fast action on mandatory emissions curbs.

Whitehouse said GOP members will use the messages to try and slow climate legislation, but predicts it will not work.

The messages appear to show scientists discussing ways to massage data and squelch views of researchers who do not agree that humans are warming the planet. They also show the scientists deriding climate skeptics. Both the University of East Anglia in the U.K., which houses the Climatic Research Institute, and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have vowed reviews.

But the researchers and their supporters say the e-mails have been taken out of context, and do nothing to dent powerful evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation are causing climate change.

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenators to Trump: Keep pressure on North Korea while exploring talks Why did this administration back the Palestine Liberation Organization in terrorism case? Overnight Defense: Top general says countering Iran in Syria isn't US mission | Trump, Boeing reach 'informal' agreement for new Air Force One | Chair warns of Russian mercenaries in Syria MORE (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Environment panel, as well as Sens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenators target 'gag clauses' that hide potential savings on prescriptions USPTO needs to be forced to do its job and reject bad patents Senate Dems propose tax cut rollback to pay for infrastructure MORE (R-Wyo.) and David VitterDavid Bruce VitterTrump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? Not the Senate's job to second-guess Alabama voters MORE (R-La.), have called for various inquiries into the matter, including a committee hearing.

Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerThe ‘bang for the buck’ theory fueling Trump’s infrastructure plan Kamala Harris endorses Gavin Newsom for California governor Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday said she isn’t planning a hearing, although she did not entirely shut the door on the question.

“The main thing is, is there any change in the underlying science? If I believed there was a change in an underlying science, I think that would be worth looking at because one would want to know, is the science right?” she told The Hill. “At this point it looks as if all of the scientists who have been engaged in this global warming issue who were not involved in the e-mails say there is nothing that changes their mind.”

Boxer said, however, that she is continuing to collect information, and also reiterated her view that any committee hearing should also explore criminal dimensions of the hacking. “If I were to hold a hearing, it would be on the entire issue, but right now, I don’t see reason to do it,” she said.

Look for Republicans, meanwhile, to keep raising the issue as Senate action on slow-moving climate legislation draws closer.

“I expect there will be a lot more learned about it and I think before we transform the American economy in such a dramatic way, and impose such huge additional costs on taxpayer[s], I think we ought to do it on sound science,” said Sen. John CornynJohn CornynWhite House officials expect short-term funding bill to avert shutdown Spending bill delay raises risk of partial government shutdown support GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone MORE (Texas), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee.