Put McKinley on committee about climate

Too much debate about climate change is driven by political correctness and anecdotes, not science. There is a way Democrats who control the U.S. House of Representatives can move toward greater balance.

Among the first actions taken under the leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this winter was creation of a new committee. It is a special one, intended to deal with just one issue: climate change.

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., has been named to chair the panel. Last week, she told The Associated Press Democrats in the House are “unified under the belief we have to take bold action on the climate crisis.”

Castor’s semantics — terming climate change a fullblown crisis, hint that majority Democrats who control the committee have made up their minds and plan to use the panel not to get the facts but, rather, to prepare decisive bills.

Another clue the committee is being purpose-built is that Pelosi initially offered a seat on it to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. She has made it clear through her “New Green Deal” that she favors banning use of fossil fuels in the United States, regardless of the disaster that would be for tens of millions of Americans.

But the committee is just getting off the ground. For one thing, its six Republican members have not been selected yet.

One of them should be Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va. McKinley offers important perspectives missing from Democrat members of the panel. In addition to Castor, others from her party on the committee are from California (three), Colorado, Illinois and New Mexico. At least one lawmaker from an energy-producing state is needed. McKinley, from West Virginia, fits the bill.

But there are other reasons he should serve. One is experience. Three of the committee Democrats are freshmen. McKinley is a veteran of the House. He serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee — where he is vice-chairman of the Subcommittee on the Environment. One quality McKinley offers may be the most important of all: He is a professional engineer. McKinley’s career outside public service has been based on solving problems scientifically rather than merely politically.

Clearly, if the new committee is to be more than a rubber stamp to pursue a predetermined campaign, it needs more balance. McKinley could provide it.

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