The Republican-controlled Senate voted on Wednesday to reject a symbolic provision that said human activity contributes to climate change.
The vote was 50-49 for a Democratic amendment that did nothing other than declare that “climate change is real” and that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change.”
The amendment by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) fell short of the 60 votes required to pass.
The vote came shortly after Republicans surprised Democrats at the last minute by supporting an earlier amendment by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) to express a “sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”
That amendment passed 98-1 after Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who has repeatedly called climate change a hoax, signed on. The reason was that Whitehouse amendment did not take a position on whether humans play a role.
Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) tweeted:
— Senator Dan Coats (@SenDanCoats) January 21, 2015
The amendments, filed to legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline, were a naked attempt by Democrats to troll a political party that struggles to accept to consensus of roughly 97 to 98 percent of climate scientists that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global climate change.
The vote came one day after President Barack Obama needled Republicans on the topic in his State of the Union address.
“I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either,” he said. “The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate.”