Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has had a rough couple of weeks. Earlier this month, public outcry forced him to withdraw his bill to sell off 3.3 million acres of public lands.
Then in a raucous town hall held at a Salt Lake City high school Thursday, 10-year old Hannah Bradshaw had two simple questions for the climate-science-denying congressman:
- “What are you doing to help protect our water and air for our generations and my kids’ generations?”
- “Do you believe in science? Because I do.”
Chaffetz’s weak and evasive responses were not well received by his constituents.
Utah Congressman Chaffetz gets totally owned by 10 year old girl's sick burn about science, refuses to answer her question & crowd goes wild pic.twitter.com/FxKUM2TklY
— Aaron Stewart-Ahn (@somebadideas) February 10, 2017
Rather than simply replying, “Of course I believe in science,” Chaffetz starts down a long and painful road of congress-speak and platitudes, such as, “I don’t pretend to have all the answers to all the questions…”
But the jeering and shouts of “answer the question!” pushed the Utah congressman to acknowledge her first question — with more mushy platitudes: “What is thrown into our air, what is thrown into our water, obviously has an effect on our environment.”
Uh, yes. Chaffetz then endorses an “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” adding, “I do think coal is an important part of that.” More jeers.
After the clip above ends, Chaffetz kept going. He rehashed the hopelessly out-of-date myth that electric vehicles are dirty: “There’s a lot of people who want to move to electricity. Well how in the world do you think electricity is generated?” Yet more jeers (at about 1:10:00 in full video here).
But he persisted with his talking points, attacking Democrats for supporting “solar farms” that are supposedly “destroying wildlife.” The data, however, say coal is by far the biggest killer of fauna such as birds.
A few minutes later, Chaffetz ended the town hall and was booed off the stage. Later, he told the media the room was full of paid agitators, so he may avoid such towns halls “for these radicals to further intimidate.”
Yes, Chaffetz needs to avoid such intimidating radicals as a 10-year-old girl who accepts science and wonders if her Congressman does.
Note to Jason Chaffetz: When a young girl asks you if you believe in science, say “yes” quickly.