01/08/2014 01:21 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Peter DeFazio Blasts Global Warming Skeptics As 'Blathering Idiots'

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) delivered a fiery speech Wednesday urging action to combat global warming and blasting Republicans for their climate change denial.

DeFazio accused Republicans and conservative media figures of mistaking the polar vortex currently chilling much of America for proof that global warming is not occurring.

“No surprise, a number of my Republican colleagues who are dyed-in-the-wool climate change deniers and some of the blathering idiots on talk shows said, ‘Whoa, look at this, arctic vortex proves that there’s no climate change, there’s no global warming, it’s all a hoax,’” Defazio said. “I’d like to begin this New Year with a little optimism and hope Congress will take on big challenges -- some of the biggest challenges of our time -- including climate change. But the bizarre theories of the climate change deniers and the excuses they’ll use probably preclude that.”

DeFazio went on to say that climate change resulting from global warming is overwhelmingly accepted by most of the international scientific community, but Congress remains “incapable of dealing with this challenge,” leaving it to other government agencies to take responsibility.

“The EPA has been found to have the authority by the Supreme Court of the United States to regulate carbon emissions as pollution,” DeFazio said. “And following through on the president’s climate action plan is critical to show the rest of the world that the United States can again lead on this issue, and we’re serious about it, and use that leverage to bring other countries into line.”

Several prominent conservatives have made comments recently regarding global warming and the polar vortex. Radio personalty Rush Limbaugh said Monday that the polar vortex was a hoax cooked up by liberals and the media, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) claimed that because dinosaurs had lived on Earth when temperatures were higher than today, global warming wasn't that big of a deal.

Watch DeFazio’s complete speech in the video above.



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