Who Believes What?

My Albuquerque Journal colleague Mike Coleman has a post this morning that illustrates the complexity of the science-politics-policy interface surrounding the cap-and-trade legislation now slogging through Congress. It’s about Harry Teague, a newly elected conservative Democrat from New Mexico who represents a very conservative district with a strong oil and gas component to its economy. (A portion of the district overlies the Permian basin, and southeast New Mexico is very “Texas oil patch” in many ways, not at all the sort of Georgia O’Keeffe country that the name “New Mexico” evokes to outsiders.)

The bill’s handlers gave Teague some major concessions involving small oil refineries to win his vote (see Mike’s story for details on the deal). But Teague has apparently been getting beaten up anyway by some of his constituents over the issue, which leads us to this:

Does Rep. Harry Teague think climate change is real?

Yes, he does, Teague’s spokeswoman told me this morning. But the congressman believes the jury is still out on the reasons why it’s happening.