BAYHAM: Ron Johnson On Energy, Oil And Gas And Leading The Opposition

US Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has emerged as one of the leading critics of the federal government overreach and weaponization of the bureaucracy and Big Tech against conservatives and has also vocally challenged the federal response to COVID.

Senator Johnson was one of the featured speakers at The Heartland Institute’s 15th International Conference on Climate Change that was recently held in Orlando.  Speakers, many from the scientific community, challenged many of the radical policies being implemented by both governments and eco-agenda aligned finance firms and corporations to severely reduce if not eliminate the utilization of fossil fuels in society.

Senator Johnson made time to field questions about climate change, the Biden Administration’s war on the domestic energy sector, how the GOP can effectively achieve legislative victories despite being in the minority in the US Senate, the role of the media in elections, and what the Republican Party needs to do to win over voters who are dissatisfied with the status quo yet were unwilling to vote for a major change in direction in the 2022 midterms.

MB:  First of all, you were once again in a very competitive race in the 2022 midterm elections yet you won your election on the same ballot the Democratic incumbent governor won his.  What do you attribute to your success at the polls on a day when the GOP failed to meet the very high expectations going into what seemed to be a promising off-year election cycle?

RJ:  The biggest difference might have been the abortion issue.  It certainly energized the Left.  My approach was different than the Republican gubernatorial candidate, which was to allow the Wisconsin voters to decide.  The primary question that needs to be answered across the nation is at what point does society have a responsibility to protect life.  And I suggest we do that through a one time single issue referendum.  Let the people decide.  I didn’t want justices to decide that, I didn’t want Congress or the Wisconsin legislature to decide that.  Put it to a vote.  You can design the referendum any way you want to but that’s what basically needs to be done.

MB:  Obviously Republicans had aspirations of winning the US Senate, yet we fell short and even lost a seat.  What would you say was the big issue why were unable to secure a majority?

RJ:  Every election and in every campaign there are multiple factors.

Abortion was a big issue across the nation, not just in Wisconsin.

One thing I think we always have to be careful about as conservatives, and especially our leadership, is how their actions dispirited our base particularly when you have a small group of Republican senators joining with Democrats to pass a one trillion dollar plus infrastructure bill.  I understand we need semiconductors but do we really need the corporate welfare to produce those things?  Those types of actions when Republicans join Democrats to be big spenders dispirits our base.  The Left was energized by abortion and our base was somewhat dispirited by Republicans not acting like conservatives.

MB:  With the Republicans being in the minority in the US Senate what are the big priorities for the party in terms of moving the political ball forward?

RJ:  What I’m trying to do is support conservatives in the US House (of Representatives).  The speaker fight didn’t bother me at all.  It was resolved and probably resolved in way where there are now greater fiscal controls that can hopefully help the (Republicans) succeed.  We need to support them, as I mentioned in my talk.  The first step in the process of fiscal controls is to look at the debt ceiling and use the debt ceiling as intended to attach fiscal controls.  But the House has to pass that with Republican votes.  So hopefully the moderates will recognize that they need to quit dispiriting our base, quit spending like drunken sailors, and join the fiscal conservatives in the House to pass the debt ceiling with attachments, including spending cuts.  But that will be up to the House.

MB:  You mentioned in your speech the Left tried to trivialize your position on climate change yet you managed to push back on the narrative they attempted to frame your position.  How were you able to avoid that trickbag?

RJ:  I told the truth.  The point I made that climate is far more dependent on solar activity.  I called it sunspots but it’s essentially what the sun does.  Our climate is dictated by the sun, which has cycles of greater activity and lesser activity.  My guess is that it accounts for the vast majority of climate change over geologic time.  I referenced the Vostok Ice Core Sample, the Greenland Ice Core Sample, and as I also mentioned in my talk, the Bay of San Francisco had a 390 feet increase in sea level.  It’s not man doing that and there’s nothing man can do to prevent that.  There are larger forces at work, mainly the sun.  It’s just the truth.

MB:  Milwaukee, Wisconsin was recently selected as the site of the 2024 Republican National Convention.  Do you believe that will in any way help the GOP’s chances of winning Wisconsin’s electoral votes next November?

RJ:  It’ll be good if we have a good candidate and if we are unified and what are approach is to limit the size of government.  We need to highlight that to the public in a more open way than we normally are able to because of the mainstream media.  So the folks in Wisconsin will be able to see what the Republicans stand for with a lesser filter from the media.

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MB:  What do you think the Republican Party needs to do to improve our brand to the country over the next two years?  While an overwhelming majority of Republicans did not believe the country was heading in the right direction this past November, they didn’t vote that way at the polls.

RJ:  I was puzzled about how bad does it have to get before people who vote for radical Leftists start to understand the error of their ways.

Again I put a lot of blame on the complicity of the media.  They’re a bunch of radical leftist themselves and they’re not truthful with their (audience).  A classic example is how often has the mainstream media been down the border, which is a disaster?  (President) Obama called 2,000 people being apprehended a day a humanitarian disaster.

It’s now four times that, about 8,000 a day.  The media is ignoring it.  They actually didn’t ignore it under Obama, not totally.  They certainly didn’t ignore it under (President) Trump.  But under (President) Biden they’re completely ignoring the humanitarian disaster the open border is.

MB:  You mentioned in your remarks that the government overstepped in their response to COVID-19.  Will there ever be any kind of accountability for the federal, state, or local officials for their heavy-handed reaction?

RJ:  If I have a say in it there will be.  We will continue even in the minority to do oversight, to keep pressing federal health agencies and others for answers the American people deserve.  We’ll cooperate with the House in their oversight efforts.  It’s way more than just overstepping, it’s that everything they did was wrong.  From start to finish it was a complete disaster in our response to COVID.  It indebted us another 5-6 trillion dollars, we engaged in sabotage by denying people early treatment.  We did not do the testing on the vaccines, we weren’t cautious enough.  I’m a champion of “right to try” and I supported Operation Warp Speed but at the same time you have to recognize still it’s not enough time to do the long-term study, so exercise caution.  Offer it to the vulnerable but also recognize that COVID-19 is not a particularly deadly disease for the vast majority of the people who get it.  So don’t subject everybody to something that isn’t fully tested.

MB:  What can be done to expand America’s domestic energy exploration and production with a White House that is locked into the Green Agenda?

RJ:  Not much.  They’re trying to starve the oil and gas industry of capital.  There’s an assault on our fossil fuel energy sector.  It makes no sense and it’s very damaging to our country and very harmful to individuals and yet they’re still pressing on.  You’d think if they were going to change their ways, they would’ve done a mid-course correction before the mid-terms but they didn’t do it.  Again they’re able to count on the media to carry their water and pushing their narrative.

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