Investigators have cleared Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists of all alleged wrongdoing.
“I think we ought to take a look at whatever the group is that measures all this, the IPCC, they don’t even believe the crap,” Pearce said about his doubts that human activities are warming the planet. “They’re the ones who say in the e-mails we’ve got to worry about this, keep these voices quiet. If they don’t believe it, why should the rest of us be penalized in our standard of living for something that can’t be validated?”
On his website, Pearce as a “disaster.”
“Lobbyists pick favorites in the energy sector and reward their pals,” he writes. “Meanwhile radical interests work to implement their ideas that will punish New Mexico with lost jobs and higher electrical bills, without even curbing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Familiar Theme Emerges at Sunday Debate
Pearce continued to wield his anti-carbon-regulation hammer during a Sunday, Oct. 24 debate with Teague , the Albuquerque ABC affiliate. The two spent under five minutes of the hour-long question-and-answer session on environmental issues.
Repeatedly, Pearce told listeners that what he referred to as government “over-regulation” and “over-taxation” depress the economy, push jobs overseas, and drive up electricity and gasoline prices by pinching the oil and gas industry.
“Congressman Pearce seems to be obsessed with my votes on the American Clean Energy and Security Act,” Teague said during a debate segment where the candidates questioned one another. “And he is using a lot of discredited numbers to state the effect it will have.”
The bill would not raise electricity prices, Teague explained, adding that it was designed to end America’s reliance on foreign oil by expanding jobs in the renewables industry that can’t be outsourced.
“Probably more than any other bill,” Pearce responded about Teague’s support for cap-and-trade legislation, this one “cut against the grain of the New Mexico economy. I couldn’t believe you made your fortune in oil and gas and turned your back on the industry.”
Same Beginnings, Different Conclusions
Certainly, both candidates understand firsthand the role the oil and gas industry plays in the state they call home. New Mexico ranks sixth in oil production and fourth in natural gas production, according to the state’s nonprofit Independent Petroleum Association.
The industry employs about 15,000 residents and pays above-average wages in a state where the average annual income is $34,000. It also pumps millions of dollars into state coffers.
Teague started working in the oil fields of New Mexico at age 17 for $1.50 an hour. The 61-year-old, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, is the founder and owner of Teaco Energy Services, located in the far southeastern New Mexican community of Hobbs.
Pearce, who also hails from Hobbs, owned and operated an oilfield services firm called Lea Fishing Tools for years before selling it to Key Energy several years ago. The 63-year-old former state legislator flew missions for the Air Force during the Vietnam War, according to his website biography.
Though they have similar backgrounds, their visions for America’s energy future are widely divergent. Though neither campaign office responded to numerous requests for interviews, their public statements offer some insights.
Pearce’s sums up energy possibilities in three sentences. He calls for bumping up domestic oil and gas production. And while he talks about boosting wind, solar and nuclear power, he doesn’t spell out any specifics. “We can protect our environment and reduce our dependence on foreign oil only if only we just start harnessing all our sources of energy,” he writes.