After Michael Shellenberger, leading environmental and climate change expert, presented his evidence-based testimony concerning energy policy in America in a congressional hearing Tuesday, Democratic house members mocked his findings.
Shellenberger was invited to speak at the special House Committee hearing to evaluate the Democrats’ proposal allocating $2 trillion to renewable resources and other climate programs.
Democrats were likely interested in including his testimony, Shellenberger said, because of his history advocating for a similar proposal between 2002 and 2009. After years of supporting climate change reform and other environmental legislation, Shellenberger is now an outspoken opponent of such policies for their unproductive and often ignored negative impacts.
Recently, Shellenberger published several articles and a book explaining his change in sentiment. Seeing the corruption surrounding climate alarmism and other environmental issues, he said he feels compelled to stand in opposition to what people expect in support of the truth. Serving as a climate change activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30, the majority of Shellenberger’s life has been fully dedicated to the pursuit of positive environmental change.
Despite his work, however, Reps. Sean Casten (D-IL) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) criticized Shellenberger for his testimony, discounting his qualifications as a well-known environmental expert.
“Mr. Shellenberger, I am not going to ask you questions because it would be a waste of time,” Caston said.
Rather than give him time to ask questions, the two congressmen used their time to criticize Shellenberger without giving him a chance to respond. Once Shellenberger referred to his book, which contains much of his energy research, during the hearing, Huffman accused him of using the testimony for his own promotion.
“Instead our friends across the aisle called someone who is not a scientist, not an economist, he’s a guy with an anthropology degree that holds himself out as an expert on a whole lot of subjects but he’s really not. And for those of us who know his shtick as I do, unfortunately from years of experiencing it, you know he has spent his career creating, publicizing, and monetizing a totally fake narrative.”
After being shut out by the Democrats who called him in to speak, Shellenberger published a response article in Quillette to have his voice heard.
“Had I been given a chance to respond, I would have noted that: I have been a climate activist for 20 years; my new book, Apocalypse Never, has received strong praise from leading environmental scientists and scholars; the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently invited me to serve as an expert reviewer; and that I have always been financially independent of industry interests.”
Shellenberger argued during his testimony that nuclear energy is far more favorable to renewable energy due its cheap and ready supply as a clean source of electricity. There’s a more pressing facet of the nuclear argument as well, he said. Russia and China have proven to be leaders in this type of energy and the United States is falling behind.
“We do not have a National Nuclear strategy to compete with the Russians and Chinese. Every time a nation does a nuclear power project. It’s an extension of soft power…” he said. “I think the United States needs to step up its game and be competitive with the Russians and Chinese in building new power plants abroad, and that’s going to require building more nuclear power plants at home.”
In his article in Quillette, Shellenberger said Democratic congressmembers told blatant lies and dodged his questions pressing them on their statements to avoid being exposed.
Several members claimed renewables are cheaper than existing grid electricity, so Shellenberger inquired about the billions of taxpayer dollars they supposedly require to operate.
“Instead of answering that question, Democrats claimed that solar and wind projects were somehow part of the battle for environmental justice. In reality, I noted, solar and wind projects are imposed on poorer communities and successfully resisted by wealthier ones.”
He also listed numerous human rights abuses imposed by renewable energy resources in contrast to the jobs and opportunities that nuclear energy is guaranteed to provide for generations to come. He pointed to corruption among Democrats’ largest donors, including Rep. Casten, who depend on this bill to make a lot of money as renewable energy and natural gas investors.
“Now, if the Democrats’ $2 trillion climate proposal passes into law, a lot of very powerful people stand to make a lot of money, from winning tender for industrial projects such as building wind turbines and transmission lines all the way to the outright cash payments that we saw during Obama’s green stimulus.”
Shellenberger ended with a warning that if the United States continues to close nuclear energy plants and replace them with renewable sources, national security and job opportunities at home will both be compromised.
“The threat posed by America’s illiberal, nuclear-building rivals will, like the crisis facing renewables, continue to grow, regardless of whether Democrats succeed in shutting me up.”