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Climate Change Denier Gets Chilly Reception In Washington Legislature

Jeanie Lindsay
Northwest News Network
Tony Heller, also known as Steven Goddard, came from Colorado after receiving an invitation to present at the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications committee by Sen. Doug Ericksen.

You may think the existence of climate change is settled. But at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia Tuesday, a climate denier was given a prominent platform.

Eye-rolling and harrumphing ensued.

Tony Heller goes by the pen-name Steve Goddard, and is a vocal climate change skeptic and software engineer from Colorado. He’s also a self-described environmentalist.

“I see that global warming has become a distraction which has derailed the environmental movement,” Heller said.

Republican state Sen. Doug Ericksen, who chairs the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee invited Heller to Olympia. Ericksen also works on the Trump transition team, and called from Washington D.C. to welcome Heller’s different opinion on climate change.

During the meeting, Heller claimed climate scientists have altered or fabricated graphs and figures to fit their own theories. He accused “climate alarmists” of spreading the bad data.

Democratic Sen. Kevin Ranker from Orcas Island pushed back.

“I feel like some of this presentation may be alternative facts,” he said.

Near the end of the session, a lone protester disrupted the meeting. He called Heller’s presentation an insult to “settled science” as security escorted him out.