Some Questions for House Speaker Mike Johnson

The DC press corps should push him on these issues, among others


October 30, 2023

Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

“Who’s Mike Johnson?” became one of the most popular news headlines last week as the nation scrambled to understand more about the guy who has suddenly gone from a House of Representatives backbencher and fifth-string leader to one of the most powerful elected officials in the nation. 

Since Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, received the Speaker’s gavel, reporters have sussed out that he’s a skeptic of climate change science, a recipient of major campaign donations from the oil and gas industry, and backer of what’s known as “young Earth creationism.” With Johnson's lifetime score of just 2 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, environmentalists have every reason to be skeptical and on guard. 

As the person who is second in line to assume the presidency, Johnson has an obligation to the American people to be straight about what he stands for. So here are some questions we at Sierra hope the DC press corps will ask of Speaker Johnson in the coming weeks:

* Do you agree with the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activities—especially the burning of coal, oil, and gas and deforestation—are the principal drivers of global warming?

* If not, what do you think is responsible for the record-breaking high temperatures and extreme weather events that have occurred this century?

* Do you believe that the theory of evolution and natural selection is the best explanation for the wondrous diversity of life on Earth?

* How old do you believe planet Earth is?

* Do you believe that dinosaurs and humans occupied the planet at the same time?

* With which of these statements do you agree: Protection of the environment should be given priority, even at the risk of curbing economic growth OR economic growth should be given priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent?

* Do you know how much money you have received from the oil and gas industries since you were first elected to Congress? 

* Do you believe that Joe Biden is the duly and fairly elected president of the United States? 

* If not, can you provide any evidence that the 2020 election was unfairly rigged?

* How would you describe your feelings about climate change: alarmed, concerned, cautious, doubtful, or dismissive?

* Is pineapple an acceptable topping on pizzas? Wrong answers only, please.