Date: July 6th, 2018
Agency: State, TX
Explanation: Bias and Misrepresentation, Interference with Education
During an interview about science education standards, Texas State Senator Jason Isaac misrepresented scientific research establishing that climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emissions, associated with the burning of fossil fuels. Senator Isaac told journalists that he became concerned about science education when his son was studying for the state standardized test. He noted that, in the preparatory materials given to his son, the only question having “anything to do with energy” stated:
“Which of the following fossil fuels causes global warming? Oil, gas, coal or all of the above.”
He then stated:
“It should have been ‘none of the above,’ in my opinion. It’s such a biased question. It’s making their minds up for them. It’s very negative. You’re striking fear in children that oil and gas and coal are bad.”
Senator Isaac worked with the Texas Natural Gas Foundation, of which he is a co-founder and president, to develop new science education guidelines. The guidelines, which Senator Isaac said are intended to “get the bias against certain Texas energy resources out of our schools,” encourage teachers to tout the benefits of fossil fuels. They downplay the negative impacts of fossil fuel use and emphasize problems with renewable energy technologies.