WASHINGTON, D.C. (KTRK) -- In an otherwise routine committee hearing, a Texas congressman raised eyebrows this week with a question about a federal agency's abilities when it comes to planetary orbits and climate change.
During a hearing Tuesday of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) asked a U.S. Forest Service official about altering the orbits of the earth and moon in an effort to combat climate change.
"Is there anything that the National Forest Service, or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) can do to change the course of the moon's orbit or the Earth's orbit around the sun?" the east Texas congressman asked National Forest System Associate Deputy Chief Jennifer Eberlien. "Obviously, they would have profound effects on our climate."
After a brief pause, Eberlien promised to look into an answer.
"I would have to follow up with you on that one, Mr. Gohmert," Eberlien said.
It wasn't clear if the Texas congressman was serious, though he prefaced the query with an account of a previous conversation with a former NASA administrator about the axis of the earth and moon.
Gohmert had not publicly responded Wednesday morning to a flurry of tweets about the question, though he pointed out to New York Times writer Kurt Anderson that BLM was an abbreviation for the Bureau of Land Management and not the Black Lives Matter Movement.
"Exceedingly devious how you hid the context with an ellipses in your tweet," Gohmert replied. "The hearing was about the BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT & climate change. BLM stands for the BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT."
The question came about an hour and 15 minutes into a legislative hearing on four House Resolutions Tuesday. You can watch the entire hearing here.