Congressman Byron Donalds excoriates the House Oversight and Reform Committee for biting the hands that energize the nation in the five minutes allowed him in video below. (The settings button on the video allows you to turn on subtitles). For those who prefer reading, my transcript (lightly edited) follows in italics with my bolds and added images.
Chair: The gentleman from Florida Mr. Donalds is recognized for five minutes.
Donalds: Thank you Madam Chair and first of all to the witnesses, the the leaders of Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, I know that the climate activists are in twitter world which Dave Chappelle says doesn’t exist. And he’s right because it’s just people who have nothing better to do but type on their keyboards. And we do it too here in congress.
But let’s be very clear. You deserve an apology, because what I witnessed today was just rank intimidation by the chair of this committee, trying to get you to pledge on what you’re going to spend your money, is a gross violation of the first amendment. Just because we’re members of congress, and we’ve got microphones and we passed laws, does not mean that we also have the ability to infringe on your ability to organize, whether it’s API or anybody else, or what you choose to spend your money on. It is disgusting, absolutely disgusting. Somebody needs to go call Merrick Garland to tell them to get in here and watch the intimidation that came from this very panel today.
Because this is not about defending big oil or defending big anything; it’s about defending the ability of people in our country to be free to say what they want, think what they want, spend their money how they choose. And if we’re not going to be any better than the Chinese, how do we ever expect to beat them on the world stage? When we’re cutting our neck when it comes to energy production, while they are burning more coal, burning more oil. They’re increasing their emissions and they’re not showing up in Scotland. And why not?
Because they’re interested in building an economy; they’re interested in becoming the dominant economic player across the globe, in becoming the dominant military player across the globe.
Meanwhile we joke around and mess around intimidating you guys who frankly heat our homes, you cool our fridges and keep our cars going. This is insane. So I’m sorry for you and I’m sorry for the people in our country who have to witness shenanigans like this and witness circuses like this.
One show on HBO or whatever it is, is called the circus because that’s exactly what this is. Madam Chair, I’m requesting that a letter be entered into the record. This is a letter written by ranking member Comer and the other ranking members on this committee that actually speaks to the chilling effect that has come from you Madam Chair, asking you to stop intimidating companies, requesting information that is their first amendment right to have. I ask that letter be admitted into the record under unanimous consent
Chair: Without objection.
Donalds: Thank you Madam Chair.
I have a question for Mr. Sommers, now that we’re done with that. Mr. Sommers, it was asked of the executives if they believe in electronic vehicles. And it’s a noble goal to have, but Mr. Sommers: Where does the energy for electricity production actually come from?
Mike Sommers, President, American Petroleum Institute: Thank you congressman. Before I address that question, I do want to clear up one thing. Having a difference of views on electric vehicles is not climate disinformation. We as an organization support all forms of energy. We support the rapid advancement of electronic vehicles as well. But at the same time we don’t agree that the federal government should be the ones funding the build out of that infrastructure. As we built out service stations across the country, those service stations have been developed not by the federal government but by private industry. And members on this panel themselves are investing in building out that infrastructure, as is appropriate for the private sector.
First of all your question is very very important, which is: Where does that energy come from? In the United States most of the energy comes from natural gas. It has replaced coal as the primary source of energy in this country.
Donalds: Let me ask you this question as a follow-up. So if we don’t have natural gas, and obviously the democrats are against coal, where would we actually get the electricity to power all of these electric cars?
Sommers: Well congressman for most countries, and certainly for the United States, there would be likely be a fuel switch back from natural gas to coal.
Donalds: So real quick Mr. Sommers, I don’t mean to cut you off, because you make a great point, but I have 30 seconds. It is important for the American people to understand that if you follow the idiocy that’s in the bipartisan infrastructure agreement, it is going to make natural gas harder to procure. We’re actually not going to have lower emissions we’re going to have higher emissions because you’re going to have to switch back to coal fire plants.
And just for the record let’s also say the world will always demand energy. if you’re not getting it from us, where we actually do it more safely and more cleanly, you’ll get it from Russia or from China. And they don’t care what the climate activists have to say on twitter.
I yield the floor.