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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

This is how the conservative party works, put those who have no understanding of a subject in charge of the committee that is responsible for energy independence and global warming.

Rep. Chris Stewart has written Glenn Beck-endorsed end times novels. Now he might be dealing with the real thing.

—By Tim Murphy | Tue Mar. 19, 2013 5:22 PM PDT

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) Rep. Chris Stewart/Facebook

As the new chairman of a key House subcommittee on the environment, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will be one of the GOP's leading actors when it comes to the Environmental Protection Agency and the growing threats from climate change. So with his first hearing as chairman on tap for Wednesday, what does the freshman Republican—and end times novelist—think about anthropogenic global warming?

He's not sure.

In response to an inquiry from Mother Jones, Stewart's office emailed a statement suggesting that more study was needed before he could safely say whether—as 97 percent of scientists believe—humans are responsible for rising global temperatures. And even if it was, he explained, that doesn’t mean we should act:

The world's climate is changing. That has always been true. Our global climate is always in flux, and always will be. So while I accept that our climate is changing, I also understand that a great deal of research still needs to be accomplished to understand why, as well as to discover the impacts man might be having on that change.

Climate change is also an extraordinarily complicated discipline. Because of this, it is vital that we ensure that policy decisions are based upon sound science. Before we make any long-lasting policy decisions that could negatively affect our economy, we need to be certain that the science behind our decisions is sound.

He elaborated on those views in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune: "I'm not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is."

But if Stewart isn't sure how he feels about climate change, he's dead-set in his view of the EPA: He wants the agency dissolved. In August, following a campaign event in the southwest corner of the state, Stewart told the St. George News that the Environmental Protection Agency should be eliminated because, as he put it, "The EPA thwarts energy development."

Mother Jones

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