Climate

Arizona Congressional Candidate Says Oil Is A ‘Renewable Resource’

AZ-8 candidate Jesse Kelly (R)

TUCSON, Arizona — Politicians are nothing without their rhetorical flourishes, but a congressional candidate in Arizona left some in the audience scratching their head when he called oil a “renewable resource” during a Tea Party rally this week.

Jesse Kelly, who was the 2010 GOP nominee in Arizona’s eighth congressional district and is running again to fill former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-AZ) vacant seat this year, made the comment on Wednesday at a Tucson Tea Party rally in front of a crowd of approximately 500.

Kelly brushed off concerns about fossil fuels because “we have so much here in this country.” After noting that technology has increased the available supply of oil worldwide, Kelly told the audience that “apparently it is the renewable resource we’ve all been talking about!”

KELLY: I do find it laughable when they talk about the energy crisis, the energy shortage, when we have so much here in this country. We have so much coal, so much oil, so much natural gas, we have everything we need right here. Three decades ago, they told us there were 800 million barrels of oil existing in the world. Today, because of technology, there’s over a trillion. So apparently it is the renewable resource we’ve all been talking about!

Watch it:

Whether joking or not, it’s little surprise that Kelly would go to bat for the oil industry. He does not believe man-made global warming exists, dismissing it in 2009 as “junk science” that seeks to “destroy [our] way of life”. In his campaign last cycle, Kelly took tens of thousands of dollars from the oil and gas industry, including maxed-out contributions from Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.

Still, Kelly did propose one possible solution for our nation’s energy needs: eliminating tofu. From a town hall meeting in 2010:

It’s no secret we could be 100 percent energy independent. We have all the supplies we need in this country if we just get the tofu eaters out of government at this point in time and put in some actual real Americans who believe in oil and coal and natural gas and nuclear and all these other things.

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