An amendment attached to the Electric Security and Affordability Act that would put on record that the House Energy and Commerce Committee recognizes climate change caused by greenhouse gases was soundly defeated 24-20 by the committee. It seems that the Republicans on the committee (and it was only Republicans that voted against the amendment) just aren't ready to come to terms with scientific fact.
For all the debate in Congress over whether or not climate change is real, there is much less of it in the scientific community. A recent study found that just one out of more than 9,000 authors published in academic journals denied that global warming was man-made. Out of 2,259 peer-reviewed articles, only one (!) denied the existence of man-made climate change. And yet House Republicans won't go on the record to acknowledge climate change.
Apparently, Republicans don’t have time for a scientific consensus - and not only are they going against the research, but they're even voting to exacerbate the problem. The Electric Security and Affordability Act removes regulations of emissions put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency. While the amendment failed, the bill passed the committee and is one step closer to making it through Congress.
Which will make it hard for Obama to enact his environmental policies laid out in last night's address. Obama wants a "shift to a cleaner energy economy," but knows that it will "require tough choices along the way." Also in his way is a Republican party that chooses to ignore scientific evidence.
Obama said last night that "the debate is settled." Well, the debate among scientists might very well be, but it certainly isn't settled in Congress. As long as Republicans continue to deny that man-made climate change is a real thing (or at least refuse to go on the record to acknowledge it), there isn't much headway to be made in terms of environmental policy.