John Dingell says getting climate legislation done this year will "verge on impossible" (sub rqd), what with the compressed schedule and the presidential and Congressional elections.

Oh, and also because Republicans are gearing up to block progress yet again.

A while back, Denny Hastert left Dingell’s committee and there was some inside baseball speculation about who would take his place. The answer turned out to be Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and he wasted no time making his feelings clear (sub rqd), unleashing this torrent of talking points:

"While I feel strongly that addressing climate change is certainly important, I believe we must address this through a global, voluntary framework that focuses on innovations in technology rather than a pure government mandate … At the end of the day, we’ll need to demonstrate that the price paid in both jobs and dollars equates to some tangible environmental benefits to the American people … In my view, spending trillions of dollars and losing a countless number of jobs, to maybe alter temperatures by a tenth of a degree, while China and India continue to spew emissions is not the option that we’re looking for."

Meanwhile, Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on the committee, had this to say:

"I do think global warming is a real issue … I do think that to the extent we can do things that make economic sense and environmental sense, we should try to move forward. But I do not believe that we should like lemmings just jump off the cliff in the name of political correctness. … There are a large number of skeptics still out there about what causes global warming and what mankind can do about it. I hope some of your hearings this spring touch on that."

Can’t wait to see that cap-and-trade bill that committee produces!