Interior Secretary Nominee on Climate Change: ‘I Don’t Believe It’s a Hoax’

By Melanie Arter | January 17, 2017 | 3:45pm EST
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), Interior secretary nominee (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Interior Secretary Nominee Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday that climate change is not a hoax, that climate is changing and “man is an influence.”

“Man is an influence. I think where there’s debate on it is what that influence is, what can we do about it, and as the Department of the Interior, I will inherit, if confirmed, the USGS.  We have great scientists there. I’m not a climate scientist expert, but I can tell you I will become a lot more familiar with it, and it’ll be based on objective science. I don’t believe it’s a hoax,” said Zinke responding to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) about whether climate change is a hoax.

 



“President-elect Trump has suggested – more than suggested - stated in his view that climate change is a ‘hoax.’ Now I know that you’re not here to be administrator of the EPA or secretary of the energy, but the issue of climate change is in fact very important for issues that the Department of the Interior deals with. Is President-elect Trump right? Is climate change a hoax?” Sanders asked.

“First of all, climate is changing. That’s indisputable,” Zinke said.

“The second thing is man has had an influence. I think that’s undisputable as well. Man is an influence. I think where there’s debate on it is what that influence is, what can we do about it, and as the Department of the Interior, I will inherit, if confirmed, the USGS.  We have great scientists there,” he said.

“I’m not a climate scientist expert, but I can tell you I will become a lot more familiar with it, and it’ll be based on objective science. I don’t believe it’s a hoax,” Zinke said. “I believe we should be prudent to be prudent. That means I don’t know definitively. There’s a lot of debate on both sides of the aisle.”

“Actually there’s not a whole lot of debate now. The scientific community is virtually unanimous that climate change is real and causing devastating problems. There is debate on this committee, but not within the scientific community,” Sanders said.

“Next question, but dealing with climate change. If climate change is already causing devastating problems, should we allow fossil fuel to be drilled on public lands?” Sanders asked.

“Again, we need an economy and jobs too, and in my experience of probably seeing 63 different countries, I’ve seen what happens when you don’t have regulations—” Zinke responded.

Sanders interrupted Zinke and said, “Taking your answer to be yes we should allow fossil fuel to be drilling on public lands.”

“I’m an all the above energy—and I want to be honest with you – I’m all the above,” Zinke said.

“Will you encourage wind and solar on public lands?” Sanders asked.

“I will encourage absolutely wind and solar – all the above – so I think that’s the better solution going forward is all the above energy,” said Zinke.

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