Monday, March 1, 2010

Hurt Denies Climate Change, Blames Rate Hikes on Regulations that Don't Exist Yet

There's an interesting development floating around the interwebs today, and it originates from a Tea Party/GOP debate held in Lynchburg this past Saturday night.

In an apparent attempt to counter the Hurt's-not-crazy-enough meme coming from the Tea Party folks, state Sen. Robert Hurt (R-Chatham) denied the science behind climate change, dismissing the biggest environmental threat of our time as “scientists who have given us something that is not true. It is faulty information and it has real consequences in the 5th District, in the loss of jobs and in power bills from Appalachian Power Co.” TheGreenMiles has a great post about it.

What's especially interesting about Hurt's new-found climate fundamentalism is this little gem from the Danville Register-Bee, wherein Sen. Hurt blames the recent Appalachian Power Company rate hikes on a bill that hasn't even become law yet:
Sen. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, said state and federal environmental regulations have played a role in rising energy rates. The federal “cap-and-trade” passed by the House of Representatives last year is an example of the “devastating policies” that affect people’s lives, forcing companies to raise rates to revamp their facilities to follow environmental rules.
Even the most die-hard deregulator would have a hard time making the case that people have lost their jobs and seen their utility bills skyrocket because of a regulation that doesn't even exist yet. The Senate hasn't even voted on the ACES bill yet, and if it passes in the same form that the House passed last year, it will actually create jobs in the district Mr. Hurt wants to represent.

If I were advising Sen. Hurt's campaign, I'd tell him to quit pandering to the wingnuts and start focusing on things that will bring jobs back to Southside. Being anti-science may impress the Beckophiles, but it won't win over the independents and it certainly won't reflect very well on the Fifth District GOP.

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