Last week, during a House environmental hearing, Republican Congressman Clay Higgins of Louisiana laid a haymaker on the Democrats’ star environmental witness, Raya Salter. The witness isn’t a scientist, she’s a lawyer. Before she was a lawyer, she was a community organizer.
Higgins asked some basic, objectively obvious questions of Ms. Salter, but the star flamed out.
Higgins pointed out that everything around Salter from her cell phone to the table at which she was sitting was [born] from petrochemical products.
Instead of answering, she hectored Higgins with platitudes and entreaties to “search his heart” and to “ask his God what you are doing to the Black and poor of Louisiana.” If you were unaware, oil in particular, and energy, in general, are racist.
She got progressively angrier as Congressman Higgins pressed her for an answer — any answer that made sense. Higgins then asked what she would do with ocean-going vessels and the maritime industry. Presumably, she knew that other than US Carriers, and submarines that run on nuclear plants, ships of sea run on oil. She was flabbergasted. She launched back into her harangue about shutting down petrochemicals entirely, avoiding the obvious: that we can’t unless we want to go back to sailing ships and slaughtering whales for lamp oil.
What do you do with air travel?
YOU, SIR, NEED TO SEARCH YOUR HEART! The fossil fuel industry is destroying the earth and the natural world, and that is a fact, sir!
AOC is on the committee and launched into one of her “the worst displays of misogyny” rants at Higgins for daring to ask Salter questions she couldn’t answer. According to AOC, the world is ending in eight years, so one can understand Salter’s urgency to transition back to wooden ships and sail.
This week, another squad member, Rashida Tlaib wanted a moment in the sun to pad her environmental cred with ridiculous questions posed to bankers. She wanted commitments from all of the witnesses that their banks would refuse to lend to the oil industry. Unlike Salter, the panel consisted of reasoning adults, not harpies. The first banker asked was Jamie Dimon, of JPMorgan Chase, the largest of the Big Four banks.
Tlaib: “Does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products, Mr. Dimon?”
Dimon: “Absolutely not, that would the road to hell for America”
Tlaib: “Yeah, that’s fine. You know what, sir, everybody who got relief from student loans and have (sic) accounts with your bank should probably take their account and close their account”
None of the other banks were quite as short and direct as Dimon but the message from the adults was clear: No, we won’t stop lending to the oil industry.
Rep. @RashidaTlaib challenges bank CEOs to agree to stop funding fossil fuels, is rejected by every single one
Jamie Dimon: "That would be the road to Hell for America" pic.twitter.com/U7yr6AbtyF
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2022
Without oil, everything grinds to a halt. We saw what happened when gas prices simply jumped. If the oil industry stopped because they couldn’t produce, the world economy would collapse in short order. The ore for batteries that Tlaib thinks will “save the planet” gets taken out of ore pits by monstrous earth movers running on diesel. All the ships bringing products to distant shores run on diesel. Trucks run on diesel.
For the foreseeable future, the world will run on oil. No ranting at Congressmen asking basic questions, or a congresswoman badgering bankers is going to change that fact.