Representative John Shimkus of Illinois is vying to chair the House Energy Committee as the Republicans organize their caucus. Shimkus would have jurisdiction over any global warming legislation to come through the House of Representatives in the coming session if appointed. Shimkus is an unlikely victor, as Representative Joe Barton of Texas has seniority. Shimkus has served on the committee since 1997, and promises a more aggressive approach than Representative Fred Upton of Michigan, his other competitor.
Shimkus sees climate change in a biblical context. In March 2009, speaking to the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, Shimkus quoted Chapter 8, Verse 22 of Genesis to explain his belief that the earth will not be destroyed by climate change.
"Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though all inclinations of his heart are evil from childhood and never again will I destroy all living creatures as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease."
He went on to say, "I believe that is the infallible word of god, and that's the way it is going to be for his creation... The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood."