Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas)—the famed climate change-skeptic chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology—plans to retire, the Texas Tribune reports. Smith has more than a year left to his term.
While Smith was chair, the science committee conducted unprecedented investigations of federal climate scientists and held hearings stocked with scientists who hold fringe views on the reality of man-made climate change. Speaking at a conference held by the conservative Heartland Institute in March, Smith said he would continue criticizing scientists he felt didn't conduct sound research. Smith added that he wanted to punish scientific journals whose peer-review process didn't fit his committee's standards, as Science reported.
The Tribune named several Republican politicians as potential successors to Smith's position. Derrick Crowe, a Democrat and climate change activist, has also been campaigning to replace Smith.