The highest-ranking House official in charge of environmental and energy policy may soon be a Republican legislator who denies climate change on the grounds of his belief that nothing bad can come of the Earth unless it is preordained by God.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce since 1997, submitted a letter to his colleagues earlier this week asking for their blessing in his campaign to assume the gavel when Republicans take control of the chamber.
Such a possibility is likely to be particularly worrying to climate change scientists and their supporters, especially considering a specific incident in which Shimkus appeared to wholly reject any potential for man-made climate consequences due to his faith that only God can "destroy this Earth."
The Toronto Star relays the entire exchange, which took place during a 2009 subcommittee hearing:
First, he noted God's post-Flood promise to Noah in Genesis 8:21-22.
"Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though all inclinations of his heart are evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done.
"As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease."
"I believe that's the infallible word of God, and that's the way it's going to be for his creation," Shimkus said.
Then he quoted Matthew 24:31.
"And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other."
"The Earth will end only when God declares it's time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood," Shimkus asserted. "I do believe that God's word is infallible, unchanging, perfect."
Shimkus's rivals for the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship include BP apologist Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), discounted by some as a real contender, and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who was recently criticized for his alleged embrace of "radical environmentalism." Click here for the full Shimkus story from the Toronto Star.