New House Energy Chair: Global Warming Not Man-Made

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
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Michigan's Fred Upton, who became the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January, is depicted in a video that went viral Tuesday rejecting the argument that climate change is caused by humans. (He also co-authored a January Wall Street Journal op-ed opposing action on climate change.)

At first blush, that's not a radically different position from one held by many fellow Republican members of Congress. However, it does contradict what Upton told his home town paper, the River Country Journal, in 1999.

"Climate change is a serious problem that necessitates serious solutions. Everything must be on the table - particularly renewable sources of energy like wind and solar, nuclear power and clean coal technologies," Upton was quoted by the paper. (Hat tip to Chris Mooney for pointing this out.

During his interview at a public forum with journalist Ron Brownstein, Upton was pressed to explain why a bill he introduced with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) challenging an Environmental Protection Agency finding portrays climate change as .possible."

"I have said many times, and there was a report a couple of weeks ago that in fact you look at this last year, it was the warmest year in the last decade, I think was the number that came out. I don't -- I accept that. I do not say that it is man-made and i know from the hearings that we had that even if cap and trade had been enacted, it would not have changed the temperature by a tenth of a degree, virtually anywhere in the world," he says.