As reported over on the main NC Policy Watch website this morning, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper testified on Capitol Hill yesterday about the need for government action to combat the effects of climate change. Afterward, Cooper engaged in a brief exchange with reporters — including Tony Pugh, a reporter for the Newsroom network, of which Policy Watch is a member. Here’s Tony’s summary of the Q&A:
Q – What were your impressions of today’s first climate change hearing in the House Natural Resources committee in more than 8 years?
A – “I hope this is a good kick-off to this discussion. Clearly there’s differences of opinion, but I think we got off to a good start today.”
Q – Do you support Democrats’ call for a “Green New Deal or a carbon tax?
A – “I think its clear that we’ve got to find a way to significantly reduce our greenhouse gasses very rapidly. And I think all of those issues need to be on the table in how we get there. I do believe that you can (use incentives to accomplish) a lot of this.”
Q – Are you discouraged that Congress hasn’t already moved to radically reduce emissions?
A – “I think the positive thing here is that most people now are acknowledging that we do have climate change. But then, now there is a debate over how much humans contribute to that and how much we can do and whether we are too late. The overwhelming scientific evidence shows that humans do cause climate change, we are a significant contributor to climate change and that we need to act quickly if we’re going to have an effect and stop the disaster that may occur.”
Q – Can the Trump administration be convinced to sign off on significant action to reduce climate change?
A – “It needs to start with this Congress and they need to lift this issue up in their negotiations with the Senate and the president. This president doesn’t have a good track record on this when you see what they’re trying to do with the clean power plan and rolling back the gains made in trying to reduce automobile emissions….In this Congress, now with this new majority, this issue can be raised up and it can be inserted into all of the negotiations that are going on right now.”
Q – Has the U.S. waited too long to seriously address climate change?
A – “It is not too late to do this. Many states have gone ahead and moved on and said ‘we’ve gotta do this.’ So states are taking action. And that’s one of the beauties of our federalism. You can have states, that are the laboratories of democracy, that can come up with good ideas on how we have more renewable energy and a clean economy and (how) we look for energy efficiency. I know, often times, the states come up with great ideas. And it’s so hard to move this giant ship that is the federal government, eventually, they take a lot of these good ideas that come at the state level. So it’s not too late. The time is now. We have to move.”
Meanwhile, Cooper’s campaign sent an appeal to supporters today in which he asked them to join him in combating the Trump administration’s plan to bring offshore oil and gas drilling to the North Carolina coast. This is from the appeal:
Tell the Trump administration that North Carolina’s coast is OFF LIMITS for offshore drilling
Making your voice heard here is important. If we show that North Carolinians are united against drilling off our coast, it could make a real difference. Add your name today.