The agenda featured a number of industry lobbyists presenting to an "adjusted" committee membership (Chuck Gray and Russell Pearce were added to the committee late last week).
With a mix like that (Allen, industry lobbyists, and Pearce and Gray) expectations were low at the outset of the hearing, and it lived down to those expectations.
It was clear from that outset that this meeting was not concerned with science, Allen made that clear in her opening remarks when she pointedly thanked "business leaders" for attending.
Allen herself set the tone for the meeting, also in her opening remarks, when she announced that she was "quite frightened" by the initiatives to address climate change.
The other speakers tapped into that fear vein.
Michael Curtis of the Arizona Municipal Power Users Association railed against H.R. 2454, better known as Waxman/Markey or the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009."
He objected to the bill's "economy-wide approach" and derided it as a "transfer of wealth."
Kimball Rasmussen of Deseret Power (Utah), a long-time skeptic of climate change, reiterated the wealth transfer theme, as well as creating an "us vs. them" atmosphere, with small states vs. big states and middle states vs. the coasts (aka - red vs. blue states).
Craig Idso, chair of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, argued that climate change was real, but that higher temps and increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere would be good for plants. He disregarded the impact of increased CO2 levels on human and animal life. It wouldn't be good (see the atmosphere of Venus).
Chuck Gray (R-East Mesa) served up a softball question, asking the presenters what the lege could do to facilitate the construction of a nuclear plant or oil refinery in Arizona.
One presenter advised him to put aside safeguards (you know, safety standards and such are such an unnecessary drag on corporate profit margins) and another advised him to short circuit the Arizona Corporation Commission's permitting process.
When all was said and done, Sylvia Allen though had the best line of the day -
Socialism and Marxism are about concentrating the wealth in the hands of the few who are going to make billions off of this cap and trade scheme
Apparently, Sen. Allen pays as much attention to the finer nuances of economic theory as she does to those of scientific theory.
Well, that's assuming that the basic tenets of Marxism qualify as a "finer nuance."