by | Apr 3, 2023 | Energy

Anti-fossil-fuel politicians, like Rep. Cori Bush, tried to discredit Alex Epstein's Congressional testimony on energy security using 100% false personal attacks. They failed, and all such future attempts will fail.
Alex Epstein / Photo M. Da Cunha

When you last heard from me, I was preparing to deliver Congressional testimony on the Biden Administration’s abuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

I was eager, not only to testify, but also to answer any and all questions and counterarguments.

What I was not eager for was for Rep. Cori Bush, the lead Democrat of the Oversight subcommittee holding the hearing, to attempt to ambush me with 100% false allegations of “White Supremacist views” expressed in my college years. This was clearly inspired by the Washington Post’s failed attempt to do the same thing prior to the launch of Fossil Future.

Rep. Bush’s attack on me was not a sideline in the hearing; it was how she began the hearing. She actually had two posters made of quotes from me!

I suspect that Cori Bush and/or the staffers who prepared a race-based ambush expected things would go as follows: I would be flustered by the accusations and make some embarrassed half-apology. This would make it easy for other antagonistic Representatives to invoke my “White Supremacist views” to discredit any comments I made.

They expected wrong.

Watch what actually happened, in a Tweet that currently has over 4 million views.

My response to Cori Bush’s attack quickly got national attention, including from Tucker Carlson, who said last night during my appearance on his show (watch it below): “Would you be able to respond as cogently as Alex Epstein? I couldn’t.”

I am grateful to the hearing’s Chairman, Rep. Pat Fallon, who gave me an extra minute to respond to Rep. Bush’s attack before I gave my testimony.

After my testimony Rep. Bush had the opportunity to address anything I said, including to ask me questions directly. But instead she went mute on the subject, and then quickly exited the hearing.

But even though I had thoroughly refuted, beyond any reasonable doubt, Rep. Bush’s accusation of “White Supremacist views,” her colleague Rep. Melanie Stansbury had the gall to accuse me of claiming the “racial superiority of Western Cultures” in direct contradiction to my explanation that race and culture/ideas have nothing to do with one another.

Stansbury also attempted, in her questioning of me, to ask loaded yes/no questions to get me to “admit” that I spoke “on behalf of the fossil fuel industry” and “really lack just basic credibility.”

And once again, my attacker didn’t get the result they expected—see the (widely-viewed) video below.

Of the many deservedly savage comments that Rep. Stansbury got, one of my favorites was from Jordan Peterson who said: “Your disgraceful behaviour @Rep_Stansbury was entirely emblematic of the appalling cancel/culture innuendo-spreading gossipy radical elect. A pathetic display of accusation and reputation savaging.”

Fortunately, in addition to being given time to demolish the various personal attacks levied against me, I was also able to spend a lot of time actually educating the committee about energy security. See the video below for all my testimony and Q&A.

I was gratified by the incredible amount of support and interest I got following the hearing. (One example: I got 16,000 new Twitter followers in just a couple days.) However, I was very disappointed that the official Democrat portion of the Congressional Oversight Committee 1) failed to censure Rep. Bush and 2) actually promoted her allegations, accusing me of “white nationalist ideology.”

The Oversight Democrats owe me a public apology—as I explained this morning on Fox and Friends.

I am sad that the attacks on me and the defenses of me have so far been divided on party lines. As I explained in this interview on The Ingraham Angle, “I know there are many people in Congress who are Democrats who don’t approve of this kind of thing, but one thing they really need to do is stand up….I think it would be really great if some Democrats stood up and said ‘This is unacceptable,’ and censure [Rep. Bush] in some form or another.”

As I have said many times, I am not an advocate for any political party. I am an advocate for human flourishing in general and for energy freedom in particular. I will continue to make myself available to any political office who wants my help promoting energy freedom policies.

I expect to testify in Congress many times this year. I am now genuinely curious to see if others will pursue the tried-and-failed strategy of trying to embarrass and discredit me with false personal attacks.

I am curious, but in the end I don’t really care.

If my opponents want to keep attacking me using falsehoods and corrupt tactics, I will keep embarrassing them with the truth and with proper thinking methods. And this will continue to attract new minds to my ideas. For example: Fossil Future just hit the Top 100 on Amazon!

If my opponents want to try to silence me by ignoring me—e.g., by asking me no questions during a hearing—it’s not going to work. I have too big a platform now to be ignored, and the pro-human arguments for fossil fuels and for energy freedom are too powerful to be ignored.

I won’t be stopped. And that’s ultimately good for everyone who cares about human life, because as I explain in Fossil Future, energy freedom—including the freedom to use fossil fuels—is good for everyone, everywhere.

Alex Epstein is a philosopher who applies big-picture, humanistic thinking to industrial and environmental controversies. He founded Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), a for-profit think tank and communications consulting firm focused on energy and environmental issues, in 2011 to offer a positive, pro-human alternative to the Green movement. He is the author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and Fossil Future: Why Global Human Flourishing Requires More Oil, Coal, and Natural Gas—Not Less. He is the author of EnergyTalkingPoints.com featuring hundreds of concise, powerful, well-referenced talking points on energy, environmental, and climate issues. Follow him on Twitter @AlexEpstein.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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