In 2009, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) made a funny joke.

“ABC, CBS and NBC Win Lap Dog Award,” a press release from his office touted. “The networks have shown a steady pattern of bias on climate change,” the funny “award” announcement (it was sarcastic!) read. “During a six-month period, four out of five network news reports failed to acknowledge any dissenting opinions about global warming, according to a Business and Media Institute study.” He was incensed that the networks didn’t cover the dumb, fake “Climategate” “scandal,” which they didn’t because it was dumb and fake.

Lamar Smith put out that press release because he toes the Republican Party line on climate change: It’s not our fault. It’s not the fault, for example, of the oil and gas industry, which has contributed half a million dollars to Smith over his career. His website carefully tiptoes around causation, stating that the “Earth has undergone tremendous change in the past and is experiencing similar change now.”

It is only natural, then, that Smith should be the GOP’s choice to lead the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

ryanjreilly

From The Huffington Post:

On Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that the Republican Steering Committee had recommended Smith as the new chairman. The full House GOP caucus will vote on all chairmanships Wednesday and is expected to ratify the steering panel’s choices. …

[Smith] also referred to environmentalists and others who warn about the seriousness of the issue as “global warming alarmists.”

To be fair, Smith presumably believes in both technology and the existence of space. So two out of three ain’t bad.

The amazing thing about this nomination: It could have been worse.