A prominent Biden administration official was left speechless on Wednesday after a Republican senator asked him a simple question about energy policy during a congressional hearing.
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy (no relation to the slightly more famous U.S. president) grilled Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk during the latter’s testimony before the Senate committee on appropriations, during which Turk defended a request by the Biden administration to raise funding for green energy.
Turk pointed out that the Biden administration’s budget would entail a 38% rise in funding for green energy sources.
Kennedy first asked Turk how much they would need in additional funding to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2050, prompting the deputy energy secretary to respond:
“Maybe I’m not being clear,” Kennedy continued. “If we spent $50 trillion to become carbon neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?”
Turk attempted to respond, stating “it’s a net cost” and that “it’s what benefits we’re having from getting our act together and reducing all of those climate benefits,” succumbing to incoherence under the pressure of Kennedy’s interrogation.
“How much, if we do our part, is it going to reduce global temperatures?” Kennedy repeated.
“You don’t know do you? You just want us to spend $50 trillion and you don’t have the slightest idea whether it’s going to reduce world temperatures,” Kennedy said.
“Now I’m all for carbon neutrality, but you’re the deputy secretary of the Department of Energy and you’re advocating we spend trillions of dollars to seek carbon neutrality — and this isn’t your money or my money, it’s taxpayer money — and you can’t tell me how much it’s going to lower world temperatures? Or you won’t tell me, you know but you won’t?”
“In my heart of hearts, there is no way the world gets its act together on climate change unless the U.S. leads,” Turk responded, before Kennedy interrupted him once again to assign a number to the value of the spending as measured in degrees.
“Either you don’t know, or you won’t tell me,” Kennedy concluded as Turk gazed on the face of the inquisitor with a bewildered look in his eyes.
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