Johnson brings record of climate skepticism to Speakership

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The Big Story 

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), who won the gavel Wednesday, has close ties to the oil industry and has cast doubt on human-caused climate change.

© Greg Nash

Johnson secured the Speakership Wednesday after several weeks of chaos, during which the House voted to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) all failed to secure a majority.


Johnson, whose district includes the onetime oil-industry hub of Shreveport, scored a 100% rating from the American Energy Alliance in 2022, along with every other Republican in Louisiana’s House delegation.


In 2017, speaking at a town hall, Johnson seemingly denied the existence of human-caused climate change, saying “The climate is changing, but the question is, is it being caused by natural cycles over the span of the Earth’s history? Or is it changing because we drive SUVs? I don’t believe in the latter. I don’t think that’s the primary driver.”


House Republican leadership has not made climate change a priority and launched numerous attacks on the Biden administration’s energy policies, but the level of outright skepticism in Johnson’s 2017 remarks is less common.


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Welcome to The Hill’s Energy & Environment newsletter, we’re Rachel Frazin and Zack Budryk — keeping you up to speed on the policies impacting everything from oil and gas to new supply chains.

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