WATCH: Rep. Byron Donalds Torches a House Oversight Hearing With His Defense of Big Oil

AP Photo/Steve Cannon

Dementia Joe Biden is headed to Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Summit, with a majority of his useless cabinet (looking at you, John Kerry), California Governor Gavin “Hair Gel” Newsom, and 15 of California’s equally useless legislators.

While this entourage creates a huge carbon footprint and further wastes taxpayer money, NY Rep. Carolyn Mahoney (D-Facelift), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight Reform, conducted a hearing on Thursday, titled, “The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Climate Change Disinformation Campaign.”

Talk about being taken to the woodshed. The very title alludes to the Democrat’s intent. Mahoney thought she was going to hold the evil executives of ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell accountable for spreading disinformation about rising gas prices, and excoriate them for their role in causing the current energy crisis and exacerbating the climate crisis.

The executives and the Republicans let Mahoney know that this was not the day, and they were not the ones.

From the New York Times:

At a heated hearing on Thursday, Democrats had some big questions for the chief executives of Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Shell: Would they pledge to stop lobbying against efforts to reduce emissions? And were they willing to tell their powerful trade groups to stop working against electric vehicles?

None of the executives agreed.

Mahoney, and the rest of the Democrats did not expect to be challenged or to receive pushback. Between the inability to whip the votes for Biden’s signature “Build Back Better” infrastructure package and this sham of a hearing, it was turning into a less than banner day.

Instead, the leaders of the four major oil and gas companies touted their support for a transition to clean energy and said they had never engaged in campaigns to mislead the public on the role of fossil fuel emissions in global warming. All four acknowledged that the burning of their products was driving climate change, but also told lawmakers that fossil fuels are not about to disappear.

“Oil and gas will continue to be necessary for the foreseeable future,” said Darren Woods, C.E.O. of Exxon Mobil. “We currently do not have the adequate alternative energy sources.”

Democrats responded with forceful language in the more than six-hour hearing. “Some of us actually have to live the future that you all are setting on fire for us,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York told the executives.

Democrats had hoped to recapture the drama of the tobacco hearings of the 1990s, where lawmakers put the C.E.O.s of cigarette companies on the hot seat and each executive told the country that smoking was not addictive. There was shouting, shaming, and one demonstration involving a jar of M&Ms to make the point that the companies were investing relatively little in renewables, about 1 percent of their total capital expenditure, according to the International Energy Agency.

Newsflash, Democrats: it’s not the 1990s anymore. With Americans concerned about how they are going to buy food, fill their gas tanks, and heat their homes this winter, climate change just seems so… last century, and these executives were able to leverage this to their advantage.

But the executives — Mr. Woods of Exxon Mobil, Gretchen Watkins of Shell, Michael K. Wirth of Chevron and David Lawler of BP — seemed to have learned from the tobacco hearings as well, sticking to their scripts, emphasizing their concerns over global warming and citing their internal targets for cutting emissions.

The four executives, as well as Suzanne Clark from the United States Chamber of Commerce and Mike Sommers from the industry group American Petroleum Institute, appeared on video screens, not in person, out of concerns over the pandemic.

The Republicans on the committee called the hearing what it was: a distraction from the more pressing problems facing Americans, as mentioned above.

FL Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Bedrock) pretty much wiped the floor with Mahoney in his speech.

WATCH:

First of all, to the witnesses, the leaders of Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell. I know that the climate activist in Twitterworld, 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 need an apology. Because what I witnessed here today was just rank intimidation by the Chair of this committee. Trying to get you to pledge on what you are going to spend your money on is a gross violation of the First Amendment.

And just because we’re members of Congress, and we got microphones, and we pass laws, does not mean that we also have the ability to infringe on your ability to what to organize, whether it’s API or anybody else, or what you choose to spend your money on.

It is disgusting! It is absolutely disgusting. Somebody needs to go and call Merrick Garland, tell him 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: say what they want, think what they want, spend their money how they choose. And if we are 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.

Well, that left a mark. Donalds laid it right between the eyes, and didn’t mince words about what was truly at stake. While our so-called leaders are doing more contributing to a climate crisis by flying halfway across the world than these oil executives do, China is not wasting its time or energy on window dressing. They are focusing their energies on dominating the world.

Donalds continued:

You know why they’re not showing up in Scotland? Because they’re interested in building an economy. They’re interested in being the dominant economic player across the globe. They’re interested in being the dominant military player across the globe, and while we joke around and mess around intimidating you guys, who frankly heat our homes, you cool our fridges, you 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. That’s why they call that one show on HBO or whatever it is, “The Circus,” because that’s exactly what this is.

There must have been singed hair and clothing tainted with smoke residue, because Donalds’ speech was fire! As Florida’s, and the nation’s representative, he is the standout for leadership in action.