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Climate Change Debate Heats Up Within GOP

According to the National Journal, “virtually all of the serious 2010 GOP challengers have moved beyond opposing cap-and-trade to dismissing the scientific evidence that global warming is even occurring.”

Like that old gag from Seth Myers and Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live, it is understandable if the American people are starting to ask the Republican Party, “Really?”

While many Republicans running for president in 2012 have adopted a stance of certitude on the subject, others are sheepishly running away from prior statements on the subject.

Meanwhile, nominal front-runner Mitt Romney is not backing down. At a town hall meeting on June 3 in Manchester, NH he said, "I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants, of greenhouse gases, that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you're seeing."

Now, former Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) has announced that he is forming a coalition of Republicans who understand that human emissions are contributing to climate change and that action needs to be taken to reduce that pollution.

"Conservatives typically are people who try to be cognizant of risk and move to minimize risk. To be told of risk and to consciously decide to disregard it seems to be the opposite of conservative," Inglis told the DC-based Energy & Environment Daily. “What I hope to do is be a part of an effort that calls conservatives to return to conservatism and to turn away from the populist rejection of science."

Despite the best efforts of the pollution lobby to end this debate within the Republican Party, it looks like climate change will become a major issue heading into the 2012 election season.

At this point, it looks like the elephants will be arguing among themselves.

Tags:  Climate Change