Trump campaign: ‘Global warming is naturally occurring’

Source: Jennifer Yachnin, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2016

In the wake of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s denials Monday night that he’s called climate change a “hoax” perpetrated by China, his campaign manager reiterated in an interview today that Trump doesn’t believe human activity contributes to changing temperatures.

And in a separate interview today, GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence offered an incompatible assessment, asserting the Republican ticket would “follow the science” on climate change while avoiding new regulations.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said in an interview on CNN this morning that the GOP nominee does not believe that human activity contributes to climate change.

“He believes that global warming is naturally occurring, is what he said,” Conway said. “There are shifts naturally occurring.”

In response to a question about whether Trump rejects the idea that global warming is man-made, Conway said: “Correct,” and later repeated: “He believes that climate change is naturally occurring.”

In last night’s presidential debate, Trump challenged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when she highlighted past statements the Republican has made asserting that climate change is a “hoax” (E&E Daily, Sept. 27).

“I did not. I did not. I do not say that,” Trump said last night.

But Trump has in fact spent years assailing climate change and global warming on his Twitter feed, including a 2012 tweet in which he asserted that climate change policy is an attempt to stifle American manufacturing at the expense of overseas competition.

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump wrote on Twitter in November 2012.

Earlier this year, Trump asserted that his message had been a “joke,” but in the same interview asserted that climate policy is put in place “for the benefit of China.”

In a separate appearance on CNN today, Pence likewise sought to dismiss Trump’s past criticism as “a humorous tweet that he put out a few years ago.”

“What Donald Trump said was a hoax is that bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., can control the climate of the Earth. The reality is that this climate change agenda that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton want to continue to expand is killing jobs in this country,” Pence said.

But the Indiana governor went on to acknowledge that human activity likely contributes to global warming.

“There’s no question that the activities that take place in this country and in countries around the world have some impact on the environment and some impact on climate,” Pence said in video of the interview.

A transcript of the interview shows that Pence continued, asserting that both he and Trump believe the government should “follow the science.”

“But for heaven’s sakes, let’s not go rushing into the kind of restrictions on our economy that are putting Americans out of work,” he concluded.