New Mexico governor Susana Martinez (R-NM) has picked Harrison Schmitt, a prominent global warming denier to run the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. The 75-year-old Schmitt is a former geologist, astronaut, and U.S. Senator, defeated in 1982 after a single term by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). Schmitt believes that mainstream climate science is a conspiracy “to increase government control,” as he wrote in his resignation from the Planetary Society in 2008:
“Consensus”, as many have said, merely represents the absence of definitive science. You know as well as I, the “global warming scare” is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making. It has no place in the Society’s activities.
One of the 12 men to walk on the moon, Schmitt was a great lunar scientist, but his notions on climate change are a bit lunatic. “The compelling case that climate change is occurring and is caused in large part by human activities is based on a strong, credible body of evidence,” the National Academies of Science has explained, as the “core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.” The threat of global warming to New Mexico has been clear for years.
If he wins confirmation from the New Mexico Senate, Schmitt would be in charge of the Mining and Minerals Division, State Parks Division, Oil Conservation Division and Energy Conservation Management Division.
Martinez has taken other steps to eliminate science-based government from her state. She nominated global warming denier Jon Barela, who lost his bid to unseat Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), to head the Department of Economic Development. Earlier last week, “Martinez removed all the members of the Environmental Improvement Board, citing the board’s approval of regional and state cap and trade statutes,” reports the New Mexico Independent. “Unfortunately, the majority of EIB members have made it clear that they are more interested in advancing political ideology than implementing common-sense policies that balance economic growth with responsible stewardship in New Mexico,” Martinez ironically claimed.
In other hiring news, ConocoPhillips hired Melissa Shute, a longtime oil and natural gas policy staffer for Republican senators, most recently Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), to be their “new lobbyist handling natural gas exploration and production issues.”