THE GOP’S PLANS FOR CLIMATE HEARINGS…. Marc Ambinder noted last week that the incoming House Republican majority “plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged ‘scientific fraud’ behind global warming.” The good news, as Greg Sargent reported today, is that if those plans were in place, they’ve since been scrapped.

Republican leaders are “apparently aware what a circus hearings into the allegedly fraudulent science underlying global warming would be — and how it would play into Dem efforts to paint Republicans as hostage to extremists.”

On the other hand, while CRU hearings probably aren’t on the horizon, don’t be too surprised if the majority nevertheless uses hearings to go after climate science — or more accurately, any efforts to deal with the climate crisis.

One of the top climate skeptics in the House is asking GOP leadership to keep the Democrats’ global warming committee alive to investigate the Obama administration’s environmental policies.

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is making good on his promise to pitch Republicans to revamp the committee to focus on the costs of Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

“The threat of the EPA’s reach into the economy is so great that it deserves special attention this Congress, and no panel has developed more experience on these topics than the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement. “These regulations are moving quickly, but the oversight and subpoena power wielded by the Select Committee would put a tall hurdle in the path and would further expose the economic destruction these policies would bring.”

The underlying point, of course, is the administration’s alternative to pursuing a cap-and-trade policy: using the EPA to simply regulate carbon emissions. In addition to hoping to strip the EPA of authority on dealing with emissions, congressional Republicans are also eyeing a series of pointless hearings to harass and intimidate EPA chief Lisa Jackson.

I’m glad the alleged “scientific fraud” nonsense appears to be off the GOP to-do list. If only Republicans didn’t have related plans, I’d feel less discouraged.

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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.