One of Rep. Metcalfe’s first moves as chair was to invite a climate science denier to testify in front of the committee. It should be no surprise that this individual came from a front group with ties to The Commonwealth Foundation. In the past, The Commonwealth Foundation have pushed climate science denial and harassed college professors who study the topic. Former CEO Matt Brouillette and current Vice President Stephen Bloom, who was then an attorney with deep ties to the natural gas industry, put on a dog and pony show with little hockey sticks denying climate change.
The individual called to testify by Rep. Metcalfe was Gregory Wrightstone. Wrightstone comes from The Heartland Institute, part of the same right-wing network as The Commonwealth Foundation. His job is to peddle lies about the environment. One of the senior fellows from The Commonwealth Foundation is Gordon Tomb. Tomb was an editor of Wrightstone’s self-published anti-climate science book. The Commonwealth Foundation promoted the book.
State Representative Elizabeth Fiedler cut right to the point calling out Wrightstone and The Heartland Institute. Wrightstone denied, obfuscated, and deflected saying he was unaware that Big Oil funds The Heartland Institute. He called a description of The Heartland Institute as a climate science denialism institution “derogatory.”
When questioned about his book by Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky, Wrightstone touted sales figures on Amazon. As Wrightstone became defensive, Rep. Metcalfe cut off questions from Rep. Krueger-Braneky.