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Climate Denier Ted Cruz Is Poised to Become a Lead Senator on Science

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The GOP's Senate takeover means the chamber's leadership positions will be filled with Republicans next year. That's bad news for the environment: The Senate’s worst climate change denier, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, will likely chair the Environment and Public Works Committee. But it's also bad news for science: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, another climate denier, may be next-in-line to become chair of the Subcommittee on Science and Space, which oversees agencies like the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In a February interview with CNN, Cruz said he doesn’t think the Earth is warming.

“You know, you always have to be worried about something that is considered a so-called scientific theory that fits every scenario. Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they'll say, well, it's changing, so it proves our theory.”

He then parroted a myth beloved by deniers.

“The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened,” said Cruz. “You know, back in the ’70s—I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.”

Cruz does believe in aliens, though.

"I am perfectly happy to compromise and work with anybody," he once said. "Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians. I’ll work with Martians. If—and the if is critical—they're willing to cut spending and reduce the debt."