A House committee on fossil fuels went off the rails Wednesday after Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush accused one of the witnesses of being racist.
Bush began her opening statement criticizing the oil industry before turning her attention toward witness Alex Epstein, an author focusing on pro-fossil fuel work.
“If House Republicans actually cared about preventing an energy and economic crisis from happening, they would commit to investing in renewable energy. Unfortunately, there are no serious proposals being offered. Rising inflation, caused by Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine and COVID-19 related supply chain shortages, combined with dangerous corporate greed and reliance on fossil fuels, has left the United States in a tenuous position,” Bush said, calling for an end to the reliance on oil.
Bush then criticized Republicans for inviting “for-profit think tanks and oil-titans” that allegedly seek to maximize profits at the expense of minority communities.
“One of these so-called ‘energy experts’ is a philosopher who has previously espoused white supremacist views. For instance, in his 2000 college newspaper, he wrote ‘the African and American studies department has 23 classes and many of these classes African culture is presented not as’-” Bush said before someone cut in.
“Mr. Chairman, I ask the gentlelady’s words be taken down. She just called the witness a white supremacist,” Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert said.
“No, I referred to the words, not to the person,” Bush said, stuttering. (RELATED: Cori Bush Security Guard Claims Jews Run The World And Says He Can Summon Lightning)
“The gentlelady is referring to the witnesses statement and referred to him as a white supremacist, I would like a parliamentary decree having the gentlelady’s words taken down,” Boebert shot back.
Boebert then asked the chairman whether it’s “appropriate for ranking members to show to respect to the witnesses who are here, present in the room today?”
WATCH Ranking Member @RepCori deliver her opening statement during today’s @GOPoversight absurd hearing to promote Big Oil policies and defend America’s reliance on fossil fuels: pic.twitter.com/IZXpbAUA4P
— Oversight Committee Democrats (@OversightDems) March 8, 2023
“I would like that sentiment to be expressed and the members reminded to show respect to our witnesses who are here today,” Boebert continued.
Bush then continued quoting the witness’ newspaper article and said the witness later doubled down and argued that certain cultures are inferior to western cultures.
“We are not inferior to any culture,” Bush said, after having noted the witness said his culture comment was not in regards to skin color but simply culture.
Epstein was given time to respond to the accusation.
“Thanks for giving me a minute to address a truly despicable and false attack on me, claiming that anything I’ve ever said is white supremacist and then trying to imply that that somehow applies today,” Epstein said. “What I argued and what I’ve argued for my entire adult life is that Western culture is superior in the sense that it promotes individualism and freedom. And I have fought my entire life for freedom around the world.”
At yesterday’s Congressional hearing on the SPR,
1) I made the case that @JoeBiden endangered our security by depleting the SPR
2) Nobody even attempted to challenge my case
3) Dem leaders instead tried, and failed, to portray me as a White Supremacist
Here’s every moment. pic.twitter.com/futHu2SYUS
— Alex Epstein (@AlexEpstein) March 9, 2023
Epstein went on to add that many non-Western countries still have female genital mutilation and slavery, and he makes “no apology” for criticizing these practices.
“The idea that this is associated with skin color is despicable and racist. Skin color has nothing to do with ideas. Where you came from geographically is irrelevant. What’s relevant is what’s true,” he added.