The subject of the hearing was fossil fuels, but the only subject Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri wanted to talk about was race.
During her comments, Bush, who labels herself as a member of the House “squad” of ultra-progressives, denigrated energy sector expert Alex Epstein as “a philosopher who has previously espoused white supremacist views.”
Those “white supremacist views” were soon revealed to be 23-year-old college writings.
“’The African American Studies Department has 23 classes. In many of these classes, African culture is presented not as inferior to Western culture, but as on equal footing with it,’” Bush quoted Epstein as writing, noting that he wrote the same thing for “Latin American, Indian and American Indian culture.”
Bush later criticized him for not disavowing his views.
“We are not inferior to any culture, speaking as a descendant of one of those cultures,” Bush said.
She said Epstein was there to “promote fossil fuels, which we know are disproportionately harming and killing black and brown people.”
When I agreed to testify about the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, I didn’t expect the hearing’s lead Democrat, @CoriBush, to make a prepared statement falsely accusing me of having “espoused White Supremacist views”!
Fortunately, I got the chance to respond.
Here’s how it went. pic.twitter.com/lgS4RNlbyz
— Alex Epstein (@AlexEpstein) March 9, 2023
Republican Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, allowed Epstein an extra minute to respond to Bush.
“Thanks for giving a moment to address a truly despicable and false attack on me claiming anything I’ve ever said is white supremacist and then try to imply that somehow applies today,” Epstein said.
“What I argued for my entire adult life is that Western culture is superior in the sense that it promotes individualism and freedom. And I have fought my entire life for freedom around the world including in Africa, including in Asia, including in India,” he said.
Epstein defended labeling some parts of the world as inferior.
“There are different places around the world that are in many ways inferior. They have female genital mutilation, they have slavery. These are not as good as not mutilating females’ genitals and not enslaving people. So I make no apology,” he said.
Epstein said ideas and skin color are not the same.
“The idea that this is associated with skin color is despicable and racist. Skin color has nothing to do with ideas. Where you came from geographically is irrelevant. What’s relevant is what’s true. That was an insane diversion from the truth,” he said.
Epstein later said he was disgusted with the episode.
“I wrote very thorough testimony and sent it in to advance, and then this is what she leads with?” he said later on “The Ingraham Angle,” according to Fox News.
“It was so embarrassing… I made so many points and not one of those points was addressed. It was only accusations of that [racism] or accusations of being some sort of stooge for the fossil fuel industry, which I also refuted,” he said.
During his testimony, Epstein said government needs a 180-degree policy shift to actually provide energy security, according to the House Oversight Committee’s website.
“We have a whole-of-government attack on fossil fuels. The first thing we need is a whole-of-government support for freedom for all forms of energy. Until that stops, the energy industry is going to be terrified,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.