At a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on the dangers of drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) exploded with rage. The hearing, with witnesses requested by the Democratic minority, was scheduled by Republicans for Friday afternoon. “I call it garbage, Dr. Rice,” Young said, addressing his comments to Dr. Douglas Brinkley, a historian at Rice University. When Brinkley corrected his name, Young grew even more apoplectic, saying, “I can call you anything I want if you sit in that chair.”
YOUNG: If you ever want want to see an exercise in futility … That side has already made up its mind and this side has already made up its mind. I call it garbage, Dr. Rice, it comes from the mouth –
BRINKLEY: It’s Dr. Brinkley. Rice is a university –
YOUNG: Well, okay, I can call you anything I want if you sit in that chair. You just be quiet! You be quiet!
After Young’s irate outburst, Committee chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) castigated Dr. Brinkley for interrupting the Alaska congressman and disrupting the “comity” of the hearing.
“The Arctic plain is really nothing,” Young continued, calling Dr. Brinkley “elitist.” “You can go on all the pontifigurds you want . . . I’m really pissed.”
“Some people love money more than their homeland or where they live,” Dr. Brinkley said later, rebuking Young for his hatred of the undrilled Alaskan wilderness.
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