Issa downplays prospect of Oversight Committee ‘climate-gate’ probe

The comments appear to mark a change in position for Issa. In the past has called attention to emails among climate scientists associated with the Climatic Research Unit – a prominent U.K. institute – that were made public late last year.

Climate skeptics — including a host of GOP lawmakers — have alleged the messages revealed efforts to squelch information that undercuts evidence of human-induced climate change. However, multiple probes of the researchers in the “climate-gate” affair have concluded the scientists did not seek to manipulate or suppress data.

Issa last year slammed what he called a White House refusal to probe the matter and called for inquiries.

And Issa has said he would probe the emails and climate science if Republicans regained the House, according to ClimateWire, the New Yorker and other outlets.

But Monday Issa downplayed the prospect. He said that climate science overall is a matter for other House committees, including the Science and Technology Committee, and the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming if it remains intact next year.

“A lot of it will, rightfully so, fall to the Science Committee,” he said. “We are not a committee of jurisdiction on the science of it. We are about waste, fraud and abuse, and organization and cost. So probably a lot of that is going to fall to the committees of jurisdiction.”

“We haven’t made any plans on climate change because, quite frankly, the lead committee will look at what part they will take,” Issa added. He didn’t slam the door completely, noting, “there may be a piece for us,” but overall indicated that the committee's emphasis will lie elsewhere.