Sure would be neat if Idaho Legislators believed in science. It would be even neater if they put people before profits.

After the hottest year on record for the planet, the Idaho Legislature House Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee denied a request for an informational hearing on climate change put forth by Ilana Rubel, D-Boise. Chairman Raybould, R-Rexburg, says nope, this idea is “too controversial.”

Too controversial? For whom? 34 States plus Washington D.C. have climate action plans and policies.

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If you believe in science or facts or databased solutions to critical problems then you may not find the issue controversial at all. BUT if you’re worried about re-election or pleasing corporate lobbyists then discussing climate change may seem a little risky.

It is surprising that Rep. Raybould or Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, (Chair of resources on the Senate side) couldn’t stack the deck with enough American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) climate change deniers to feel confident that an informational hearing would convince us all to ditch our Priuses for coal-fired Humvees. They should have asked Resources Vice-chair Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens – as the Idaho state chairman for ALEC, he’s got the numbers of all the best climate deniers on speed-dial.

As Idaho’s State Chairman for ALEC it is Vicks’ responsibility to introduce “model legislation.So, we should expect nothing less from him than bills coming directly from the pages and folders of the ALEC Task Force on Energy, Environment and Agriculture.

If you are unfamiliar, ALEC is a pay-to-play operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to advance their legislative wishes and can get a tax break for donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers.

ALEC has cookiecutter style legislation that is passed around from state to state. Once you start following ALEC and their shady work don’t be surprised if you find yourself appalled at the audacity of their design.

Representative Ilana Rubel intended to lay the groundwork and create momentum for a pro-renewable energy policy and bring in experts to discuss the impact of climate change on Idaho with respect to forest fires, drought, fish populations, water availability, and agriculture. But this was just too much for the good ‘ol boys in the Idaho Legislature. Considering Idaho relies heavily on the natural elements for farming, ranching, fishing, hunting, and tourism one would think that climate would be a priority. But when “alternative facts” rule the day Idaho loses as these guys continue to prioritize their allegiances with corporations and lobbyists over the needs and health of the people they serve and the state they call home.