News » San Antonio News

In remarks to oil industry, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas calls renewable energy a 'cult'


John Cornyn speaks at an energy summit in the East Texas town of Tyler last week. - TWITTER / @JOHNCORNYN
  • Twitter / @JohnCornyn
  • John Cornyn speaks at an energy summit in the East Texas town of Tyler last week.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's made no secret that he's Big Oil's good buddy. After all, the Texas Republican raked in $1.4 million in fossil fuel-industry campaign contributions from 2015 through 2020.

But, when it comes to climate change, Cornyn hasn't exactly resorted to the same level of over-the-top rhetoric of his GOP brethren like Donald Trump, who liked to dismiss it as a "Chinese hoax."

Until last week. That's when Cornyn spoke at an energy summit in the East Texas town of Tyler.

“It’s pure fantasy. … This is part of the cult, or religion, of renewable energy,” Cornyn told oil and gas execs at the event, the Dallas Morning News reports. “This is just the Green New Deal wearing other clothes.”

That claim came in response to a question about where the senator stood on the Biden White House's plan to to shift the energy section to 100% emissions-free power by 2035.

Ed Hirs, a University of Houston energy fellow, told the Morning News that Cornyn's unwillingness to phase down reliance on fossil fuels isn't exactly a sustainable political choice. (See what we did there?)

“The world’s a lot more literate on this now than it used to be when Cornyn was first elected,” Hirs told the paper. “This indicates a head-in-the-sand approach that is not sustainable.”

Hirs' call appears to be bolstered by the flood of angry Twitter responses Cornyn got in response to his tweet about the conference, where he talked up "energy independence and innovation" — a pair of things old-school reliance on fossil fuels seems at odds with. 

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.