Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) accused Republicans on Tuesday of having an "allergy to science and scientists" during a House hearing on a Republican-led proposal to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The New York Times reports that the meeting, which focused largely on the effect of the gases on climate change, was contentious and ultimately unproductive, as representatives on both sides of the aisle appeared to stubbornly reject claims that countered their own views.
Despite the impasse, however, the hearing didn't go over without its fair share of sparks.
"If Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein were testifying today," Inslee, an environmentalist with a knack for confrontation over green initiatives, posited, "the Republicans would not accept their views until all the Arctic ice has melted and hell has frozen over, whichever comes first."
In another exchange, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a man-made climate change skeptic, took a shot at Inslee's wealth of scientific literature when he offered to get him an e-reader to organize it.
The Times reports:
"Oh," Mr. Inslee responded, "would you like to read some? It might be helpful."
"Maybe you'd like to read some of mine," Mr. Gardner said.
"Be happy to," Mr. Inslee said. "It's a much shorter list."
The House GOP voted last month to include a provision that would cripple the EPA in a spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30. The resolution hasn't passed.
While the GOP has been the primary champion of efforts to restrict the oversight of the EPA, four Democrats from both chambers of Congress recently decided to back the measure.
For more on the hearing, check out the New York Times.