Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) was on a roll Tuesday with three appearances on MSNBC in which he lied twice about the cost of reducing carbon emissions and asserted that global warming is a liberal myth.
Pence told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming.”
Documenting his grasp of scientific reality, Pence went on to state that creationism is “fundamental truth.” Matthews responded, “Did you take biology in school? … If your party wants to be credible on science, you gotta accept science. Do you?”
Pence ducked the direct question, but told Matthews that “In the mainstream media, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community on global warming.”
Matthews put Pence in his place, telling him that “I don’t think your party is passionately committed to science, or to fighting global warming, or to dealing with the scientific facts we live with.”
“Tell me what you really think, Chris,” Pence snapped back, telling Matthews that “This anti-science thing is a little bit weak.”
Pence continued his marathon of idiocy in two additional appearances on MSNBC Tuesday, lying both times in order to wildly exaggerate the cost of America’s transition away from dirty fuels toward clean energy. Pence twice used the GOP’s favorite (if wholly-discredited) figure on the cost of implementing carbon reduction strategies currently under Congressional consideration.
Pence and other GOP leaders have claimed since March that transitioning to a green economy would cost every American family up to $3,128, a blatant lie which the GOP says it came up with based on an MIT study co-authored by economist John Reilly.
Reilly has repeatedly pressed the GOP to stop lying about his study, saying the GOP is “just wrong. It’s wrong in so many ways it’s hard to begin” to explain, Reilly said. Reilly told Climate Progress recently that “apart from the misrepresentation of the costs” by the GOP, “it is inappropriate to draw conclusions on the costs of Waxman-Markey” from a study published two years ago that doesn’t model key cost-containment provisions, such as the use of offsets.
Reilly sent multiple letters to GOP leaders explaining their error to them. But the truth hasn’t stopped Mike Pence and the GOP from continuing to spout the $3000 lie.
Pence repeated it Tuesday on MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and again later in the day in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Neither correspondent challenged Pence for quoting the repeatedly debunked statistic.
In between his MSNBC appearances, Pence led the GOP’s staged “mock climate hearing” to attack the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act. The mock hearing is part of the GOP’s plan for a “communications offensive over the next four weeks” to assert that the Waxman-Markey climate legislation “amounts to a national energy tax that will destroy jobs and increase costs for every single American.”
During a brief interview after the mock hearing, The Wonk Room pressed Pence to explain why he continued to lie about Reilly’s MIT study. Pence told the Wonk Room: “I respect the work that [MIT’s Reilly] did. We took the number that he used [for the value of the cap-and-trade market] and divided it by the number of American households. What he’s doing, he’s not making a mathematical conclusion, he’s making a public policy or political conclusion.”
Yup, a politician accusing a widely respected economist of playing politics. All in a day’s work for Rep. Mike Pence.