Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican congressman from Kentucky (and a darling of the coal, gas, oil, auto and railroad industries), will be holding yet another set of hearings on the famous “hockey stick” climate reconstruction graph by Drs. Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. Mann indicated he will testify – even though his graph has become a lightning rod for climate-change deniers.
(They deniers seem oblivious to the fact that Mann’s work has been thoroughly peer-reviewed and approved by a number of studies, most recently by the US National Research Council. They also seem not to understand that even if Mann’s work were proved to be fatally flawed, it is only the latest of many scientifically approved studies that prove we humans, by our burning of coal and oil, are trashing the planet.)
Now comes Whitfield, who is not only antagonistic to climate change, but who, also coincidentally, is heavily funded by coal, oil, railroad (they carry the coal) and automotive interests. During the last election cycle, Whitfield enjoyed contributions of from $1000 to $5000 from the political action committees of, among others: USEC (a nuclear fuels firm), railroad giants Union Pacific, CSX and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. His campaign was also supported by Coalpac, the Southern (coal) Company, Arch Coal and Peabody (coal) Energy. A further look into his funding reveals Whitfield was also supported by American Electric Power, Occidental Petroleum, Valero Energy, DTE Energy, Federal Lg&E Energy, the American Gas Association, Exelon, Sun, General Motors, the National Automotive Dealers Assn. and Rolls Royce, among others.
The Wall Street Journal first aired a critique of Mann’s “hockey stick” graph on its front page, for which it received some scathing criticism. The Journal subsequently published a second story “exonerating” the graphic.