“With a due respect to West Virginia,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the audience at the Public Policy Institute of California, “we’re not going to have a coal fired plant” powering the Capitol.
Pelosi was reliving her glory days as speaker of the house during the George W. Bush administration when she described how she waged war on climate change, and how she worked to convince the public it’s a real thing.
“I’m wondering are you working with people in California around the issues of climate change, and energy, and environmental protection, and if so, how?” asked the moderator at the Public Policy Institute of California.
Pelosi didn’t answer the question, but instead reflected back on her time as House leader more than a decade ago.
“Thank you for that question, because it is the challenge of the generation,” Pelosi said, waving her arm in dramatic fashion. “Planet. There’s no Plan B for the planet. This is it.
“And when I was Speaker, of course healthcare was everybody’s agenda once we had President Obama … but when I was speaker, President Bush was president at first, and my flagship issue was climate and energy,” she continued. “Because we knew terrible things were happening to the environment and the planet, that human behavior had an impact on it and we should be doing something about it.”
She prattled on about studying climate change, but did not appear to discuss any actual accomplishments.
“I established a select committee, on climate and energy. Ed Markey, he’s now a senator, but he was chairman of that. We have the documentation of what the military told us, this was a national security issue. What the public health people told us, that it was a health issue, the air kids breath, the water they drink, etc. We had the business community telling us we must be number one in green technology, so it’s an economic issue.
“And it’s really a moral issue if you believe as I do that this is God’s creation and we have to be good stewards of it,” the 78-year-old career politician said. “We had evangelicals and other with us – some … those who believe it’s God’s creation.
“So, in any case, this was a big thing for us and we had to fight some Democrats. Sen. Byrd had a coal fired plant fueling the Capitol. I was now speaker, that’s gonna go,” she said.
“With all due respect to West Virginia,” Byrd’s home state, “we’re not going to have a goal powered plant, you know,” she said.
Pelosi’s comments are the latest in a steady string of public gaffes, brain freezes and wacky policy discussions that have fueled a growing number of Democrats to call for new leadership if the party takes control of the House during the 2018 midterms.
NBC News recently compiled a list of 57 Democratic candidates and incumbents who have vowed to oppose Pelosi’s second reign in the House if they regain control, and the Washington Free Beacon pointed out that 22 of them accepted her campaign cash anyway.
Ironically, Pelosi also called for a change in Democratic leadership during an interview with KQED on Wednesday, while also pushing back against calls from within her party to step down.
“Everyone wants new leadership,” she said. “I want new leadership.”