Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal sparked a wide-ranging debate over energy policy on Tuesday at the National Constitution Center that included frank talk about the Obama administration, Congress and the Supreme Court, and comments about celebrities like Lady Gaga getting involved in the fracking debate.
Jindal was the featured speaker at the 11th Annual Templeton Lecture on Tuesday night, and by his own acknowledgement he used some provocative statements to get a dialogue started about energy independence, government regulations, and hot-button issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline, hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and the Obama administration’s energy policy.
Jindal drew attention from the audience when during his prepared remarks he called out celebrities like Lady Gaga and Yoko Ono for “touting fact-free Hollywood celebrity-driven campaigns against a technology that has given us energy security and clean-burning energy while lowering emissions of all types.”
“If [Democrats] really think that Yoko Ono and Lady Gaga should be setting American energy policy, I am happy to go on record denying that it’s a good idea,” Jindal said.
Later, in an extended question-and-answer period, Jindal said he didn’t mean to “pick on Lady Gaga or the Kardashians,” but he questioned the value of how people are chosen as celebrities, and how they can be used to get attention to legislation and issues.
Specifically, Jindal talked about his time on a Medicare commission in the 1990s when his committee leader refused to celebrities in congressional testimony.
“I think the whole celebrity thing is overdone,” he said, adding that it wasn’t a “good thing” that celebrities had influence over policy decision and in campaigns.
The bulk of the one-hour event was an extended discussion about the future of American energy policy, the role of the different branches of government in setting policies, the need for energy independence, and Jindal’s belief that all energy sources should be treated equally in the free market.
You can listen to the full podcast below, or click on this link to download the audio.
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