DC snowstorm buries climate change hearing

The House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee on Environment was scheduled to hear from a panel that included a pair of witnesses more skeptical of some of the scientific consensus regarding climate change.

The snowstorm that struck Washington early Wednesday put those plans on hold.

The Washington area is under a winter storm warning until 3 a.m. Thursday. The National Weather Service forecast a potential 6 to 12 inches of snowfall inside the Beltway.

Some climate scientists contend weather patterns like the one Washington is forecast to experience correlates with climate change. They argue climate change will make snowfall more irregular while producing heavier hitting blizzards.

While scientists have largely avoided connecting individual extreme weather events to climate change, they say it is making such incidents more intense.

But two of the witnesses who were slated to appear before the committee have expressed more skepticism about the link between climate change and extreme weather.

They were asked to testify on climate science in relation to some of the executive actions President Obama might take to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Some Republicans are skeptical that climate change is occurring. Many of those who believe it is are unsure how much human activity contributes to it.

Given that, and the GOP's resistance to measures they say would increase the cost of energy and hurt the economy, the chances of passing climate legislation looks slim.

Therefore, Democrats and green groups have urged Obama to use his administrative authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution.

Obama vowed to do just that in his State of the Union address if Congress cannot pass a "market-based" climate bill.