Markey: GOP’s climate bill revision is like something out of Orwell

Unlike the version of the bill that passed the House in 2011, the new text omits language that acknowledged scientific concern about climate change.

But unlike Orwell’s totalitarian Oceania, where information is erased from history down the “memory hole,” last year’s version of the bill (H.R. 910) lives on in the Congressional Record.

It contained a “sense of Congress” stating, “There is established scientific concern over warming of the climate system based upon evidence from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”

It added that the U.S. has a role to play addressing climate on an international basis and that Congress should fulfill that role with policies that don’t hurt the economy.

The bill to block climate rules, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), has now been rolled into a larger package to curtail White House policies that Republicans contend will harm coal mining and coal-fired power generation.

It takes aim at a number of other Environmental Protection Agency air pollution rules; restricts planned EPA rules governing management and disposal of coal ash, a waste product from coal plants; and restricts potential Interior Department rules on coal-mining wastes; among other provisions.

A committee spokeswoman for Upton said the bill was modified to reflect the overall purpose of the package.

“The Stop the War on Coal Act is about protecting jobs and affordable energy, and the portion of the bill based on H.R. 910 is specifically addressing the question of [greenhouse gas] regulation under the Clean Air Act,” the spokeswoman said.

The “sense of Congress” section “does not address those key issues and was therefore not included in this package,” the aide said last week.

Markey was highly critical in a statement provided to E2-Wire.

“When Mitt Romney isn’t making jokes about climate change, House Republicans are busy deleting any reference to it in a bill full of giveaways to coal — the worst global warming pollution source,” he said, referring to Romney’s speech at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.

Romney’s remarks accepting the GOP nomination mocked President Obama’s declaration four years ago that 2008 could be remembered as the time when “the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” Romney said to laughter in his acceptance speech. “My promise is to help you and your family.”