GORE AND GINGRICH…. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce has been hard at work this week, exploring global warming and ways to combat climate change in considerable detail. The efforts culminate today with committee testimony from Al Gore.

House Republicans were able to invite their own witnesses to give testimony, and last night, they announced that they’re calling on one of their own big guns.

Newt Gingrich has just been added to the witness list for tomorrow’s House hearing on energy and global warming legislation.

Gingrich will appear before a subcommittee hearing immediately follow the testimony of Al Gore and former Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), who are expected to make a bipartisan push for the comprehensive energy legislation introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). That legislation includes cap-and-trade provisions.

“Some on the majority side believed for the longest time that the former speaker knows a lot about health policy but not so much about energy or the environment,” said Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Republicans on the committee. “When reminded that he was a former professor of environmental studies and wrote two books, ‘Contract with the Earth’ and ‘Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less’, they decided to permit him to testify before a subcommittee. It wasn’t a bad outcome, even if it took awhile.”

A few quick points. First, for GOP officials to keep relying on Newt Gingrich to be a party leader is a dream come true for Democrats. Second, on a related note, that Republicans can’t think of anyone better than Gingrich to be a high-profile voice on energy issues points to just how serious the party’s mess really is.

And third, there’s the inconvenient fact that when it comes to energy and environmental policy, Newt Gingrich doesn’t have the foggiest idea what he’s talking about.

Should be an interesting day on the Hill.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.