(Youtube/House Natural Resources Committee Democrats)

WATCH: GOP congressman mansplains to an environmental activist testifying before his committee

"He treated me differently than the men were treated on the panel," the environmental expert told Salon


Matthew Rozsa
March 23, 2017 12:56AM (UTC)

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. During a hearing on Tuesday over mining standards, Gosar could be seen acting incredibly hostile to one witness — notably the only woman testifying, Cathleen Kelly, a senior fellow with the energy and environment team at the Center for American Progress.

"I did not see Chairman Gosar interrupting the men that were on the panel," Kelly told Salon.

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After Gosar asked Kelly to name a mine that both she and Center for American Progress could endorse, Kelly tried to reply "I don't have that information on me —"

Before she could finish, Gosar cut her off.

"Wait a minute, woah woah woah, you've got three people right here. One right in the middle there," he said, pointing to one of the other panelists. "Have you ever been to that mine site?"

Kelly replied, "I have not, but our organization endorses common sense environmental safety —"

Gosar cut her off again. "Well then, give me a name of actually a mine that you actually endorse," he demanded.

"I don't have that. I have not —" Kelly replied, before Gosar once more cut her off.

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"Well obviously then you're not here for construction," Gosar shot back, talking over Kelly when she tried to answer his question. He proceeded to lecture her about how she needed to be "part of the solution" and, when she again attempted to explain both her and her organization's position on mine regulation, cut her off and declared that he was "reclaiming my time" before he finished scolding her.

"I don't know Chairman Gosar well enough to comment on him personally, but he treated me differently than the men were treated on the panel," Kelly told Salon.

If he had allowed her to finish, Kelly would have explained that "the reality is CAP supports a lot of things. I spent a good portion of my testimony supporting government investment in infrastructure that can withstand climate change. Of course we need raw materials to build that infrastructure. That wasn't anything I questioned in my testimony."

She added, "We don't endorse businesses, we endorse policy ideas, but he repeatedly cut me off and would not let me explain that."

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Earlier in the hearing, Gosar asked Kelly, "I want to address a comment you made about permitting. If you take clay mining, really dirt farming, out of that, that number is significantly higher, is it not?"

When Kelly asked for clarification, Gosar told Kelly, "Yeah, you made a comment about the timetable in regards to permitting —"

"The review process," Kelly said.

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"Yes, you take out the clay mining — which is basically dirt farming, right — and that number goes considerably higher, right?" Gosar asked.

As Kelly began to tell Gosar that she didn't have the answer to the question, Gosar cut her off and said, "The answer is yes. Yes it is."

Gosar's office did not reply to Salon's request for comment.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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