(CNSNews.com) – CIA director nominee Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) said Thursday that he would rather not wade into the climate change debate during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee.
“I frankly as a director of CIA would prefer today not to get into the details of climate debate and science. It seems my role is gonna be so different and unique from that. It is gonna be to work alongside warriors keeping Americans safe, and so I stand by the things that I’ve said previously with respect to that issue,” Pompeo said.
Sen. Kamal Harris (D-Calif.) asked Pompeo, “CIA Director Brennan, who spent a 25-year career at the CIA as an analyst, a senior manager, and station chief in the field, has said that when ‘CIA analysts look for deeper causes of rising instability in the world, one of the causes those CIA analysts see is the impact of climate change.’ Do you have any reason to doubt the assessment of these CIA analysts?”
“Senator, I haven’t had a chance to read those materials with respect to climate change. I do know the agency’s role there,” said Pompeo.
“Its role is to collect foreign intelligence, to understand threats to the world. That would certainly include threats from poor governance, regional instability, threats from all sources and deliver that information to policymakers, and to the extent the changes in climactic activity are part of that foreign intelligence collection task, we will deliver that information to you all and to the president,” he added.
Harris asked a follow-up question about whether Pompeo doubted NASA’s findings on the issue of climate change.
“In the past, you have questioned the scientific consensus on climate change. Nevertheless, according to NASA, multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively published climate scientists agree that climate warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities,” she said.
“In addition, most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. Do you have any reason to doubt NASA’s findings?” Harris asked.
“Senator, I’ve actually spoken to this in my political life some. My commentary most all has been directed to ensuring that the policies that America has put in place actually achieve the objective of ensuring that we didn’t have catastrophic harm that resulted from change in climate,” Pompeo said. “I continue to hold that view.
“I frankly as a director of CIA would prefer today not to get into the details of climate debate and science. It seems my role is gonna be so different and unique from that. It is gonna be to work alongside warriors keeping Americans safe, and so I stand by the things that I’ve said previously with respect to that issue,” he said.
“So I’m not clear. Do you believe that NASA’s findings are debatable?” Harris asked.
“Senator, actually I haven’t spent enough time to tell you that I’ve looked at NASA’s findings, and just, I can’t give you any judgment about that today,” Pompeo replied.
“Can you guarantee me that you will and we’ll have a follow-up conversation on this?” Harris asked.
“I’m happy to continue to talk about it. Yes, ma’am, of course,” Pompeo responded.