Global warming, of all things, causes intra-party tensions in GOP

Democrats have long hoped that the eerily monolithic modern GOP would fracture, but few expected global warming to be the wedge issue. Nevertheless, there you have it: Last week, House Science Committee Chair Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) laid into fellow Republican Rep. Joe Barton (Texas), chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, accusing him in a sharply worded letter of conducting a “misguided and illegitimate investigation.” Last month, Barton contacted three climate scientists requesting extensive records; outrage ensued. Twenty noted climatologists sent Barton a letter decrying what they called political intimidation, and in a separate letter, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the request might be seen “as a transparent effort to bully and harass climate-change experts who have reached conclusions with which you disagree.” An Energy Committee spokesflack noted caustically that “Chairman Barton appreciates heated lectures from Representatives Boehlert and Waxman … We regret that our little request for data has given them a chill.” Zing!