Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas on Monday criticized Democratic attempts to investigate public relations firms for their role in promoting “climate change denial” in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Democrats on the House Natural Resources Oversight & Investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday titled “The Role of Public Relations Firms in Preventing Action on Climate Change.” Westerman criticized the Democrats’ efforts to investigate PR firms and fossil fuel companies while Americans across the nation are facing high energy costs and electrical grid instability. (RELATED: Republicans Question Top Dem’s Authority To Subpoena Consulting Firm Working With ‘Fossil Fuel Industry Interests’)
“We absolutely don’t think this is a priority amid one of the worst energy crises in modern history,” Westerman told the DCNF. “Instead, this is yet another Democrat attack on the men and women responsible for providing safe, reliable energy produced here at home.”
The hearings will not feature testimonies from any of the firms that have allegedly engaged in climate change denial, E&E News reported. Instead, the subcommittee will feature testimonies from outside experts and advocates concerning fossil fuel companies’ PR efforts.
“It’s frankly ridiculous that this majority would rather put a target on the backs of U.S. industries than examine their own actions that have resulted in exorbitantly high energy costs and the threat of rolling blackouts in states like California.”
Californians were again urged on Sept. 9 to avoid cooling their homes past a certain point for the tenth straight day to prevent rolling blackouts. Additionally, at least 20 million Americans were behind on their utility bills in late August as they struggle to keep up with soaring global fuel prices.
Democratic committee chairman Raúl Grijalva of Arizona and Democratic California Rep. Katie Porter co-sponsored a bill on Aug. 19 that would bar fossil fuel companies engaged in “climate misinformation” from getting tax credits for “marketing purposes.” Grijalva also headed a letter signed by 71 other House Democrats expressing opposition toward Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s bill that will expedite the permitting of energy infrastructure projects, claiming that the measure would help “harmful fossil fuel projects.”
“By targeting PR firms for working on behalf of an industry Democrats repeatedly vilify, the majority could also create a chilling effect on the ability of private businesses to exercise their First Amendment rights,” Westerman said.
House Democrats unanimously supported the $369 billion climate spending bill which will invest billions of taxpayer money into green energy initiatives and “environmental justice” programs.
The Democratic portion of the Natural Resources Committee did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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