Last month, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) announced the creation of the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group, which will “work on crafting Republican solutions to lower energy prices for American families and small businesses.” Undermining the seriousness of the task force, the GOP announced that it was appointing climate change denier Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to the group.
Another member of the organization is Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). In a contentious debate with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews today, the third-ranking House Republican claimed that the science behind climate change is “mixed.” Pence did, however, admit that it is “fair” to question whether that makes him a discredited messenger on energy issues:
PENCE: Well let me tell you. I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming, Chris.
Q: Then why should your party believe you’re going to get serious about it, if you say the science is mixed?
PENCE: Yeah, it’s a fair question. But look. I’m all for clean air. I’m all for clean coal technology. I’m sure reducing CO2 emissions would be a positive thing.
“In the mainstream media, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community on global warming,” Pence bellowed. Watch it:
It’s unclear what “growing skepticism” on man-made climate change Pence is seeing. But his anti-science tirade was just beginning. Pence then defended his party’s opposition to embryonic stem cell research, falsely claiming there were alternatives that “obviated” the need for embryonic research. And when Matthews pressed Pence on whether he believes in evolution — an undeniable fact and the foundation of biology — Pence said he believes in creationism:
PENCE: Uh, do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the Heavens and the Earth, the Seas and all that’s in them. The means that he used to do that, I can’t say, but I do believe in that fundamental truth.
“Did you take biology in school?” asked an incredulous Matthews. “If your party wants to be credible on science, you gotta accept science. … I don’t think your party is passionately committed to science, or fighting global warming, or dealing with the scientific facts we live with.”
“Tell me what you really think, Chris,” Pence retorted. “This anti-science thing is a little bit weak.”