Republicans are fed up with being called anti-science. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, demanded to know why President Biden's nominee for Interior secretary, Rep. Debbie Haaland (D-NM), and other Democrats seem to think that Republicans don't believe in science, when several of them have years of medical training.
In October 2020, Haaland tweeted, "Republicans don’t believe in science." Barrasso said that was a "pretty broad" statement and asked her if she stood by that remark.
“I think one of the concerns that we have is that there are three senators on this committee are medical doctors," Barrasso noted during Haaland's confirmation hearing on Tuesday. "We have Dr. Cassidy who is a gastroenterologist, Dr. Marshall is an obstetrician, I’m an orthopedic surgeon...We are also Republicans. Do you think that as medical doctors, we don’t believe in science? How do you stand by this statement?"
"I - Yes, if you're a doctor I would assume that you believe in science," Haaland hemmed and hawed.
"It's concerning to those of us who've gone through training, believe in science, and yet for a broad brush that we're all disbelievers," Barrasso continued. "It's a concern to those of us as we're here today to ask questions."
We also reported on the exchange that came right after this, as Sen. Barrasso challenged the nominee to explain why the Biden administration can't just allow oil and gas workers to keep their jobs, instead of forcing them into new ones during the president's pause on new oil and gas leases. Again she provided a non-answer and said she'd work with him and other lawmakers to "create" new jobs.
Speaking of ignoring the science, Haaland seemed unable to comment on how Biden's cancellation of the Keystone pipeline is going to increase carbon emissions.
.@SteveDaines: One of the ironies is these executive actions are actually going to increase emissions not decrease... The Keystone Pipeline was a zero net carbon project by 2030.— Abigail Marone (@abigailmarone) February 23, 2021
How do we address the increase in emissions caused by President Biden's actions?
Haaland: .... pic.twitter.com/Jk0N8iFlLy