Hours after President Donald Trump delivered a speech Monday afternoon at the White House touting his administration’s environmental record, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry appeared on Fox News to defend the president and push back on his far-left critics.
The discussion began with Fox News host Martha MacCallum haranguing the former Texas governor about the president’s otherwise non-controversial decision to talk up his administration’s environmental record.
“The fact that the president was even giving a speech on the environment raised a lot of eyebrows and had sort of critics going, ‘Really? We don’t think this is really a priority for the administration.’ What do you say?” she said.
Listen to his reply below, via FNC’S “The Story with Martha MacCallum“:
“I’m always amazed that people would say that,” Perry replied. “This president does care about the environment, and he’s doing something about it.”
“When you think about the clean energy that America is delivering around the world — whether it’s in the form of liquefied natural gas [aka FREEDOM GAS], or whether it’s in our renewable technologies, whether it’s in our nuclear energy technology going around the world — we are displacing literally tons and tons of old, dirty-burning gas emissions and coal emissions in Europe and replacing them with clean-burning natural gas.”
“The president has got a great story to tell, not to mention the jobs that get created and the wealth, and the quality of life that comes with that,” he added. “I don’t find it odd at all that President Trump is talking about the environment, talking about the economy.”
Criticism against the Trump administration tends to revolve around the president’s decision two years ago to withdraw the United States from the so-called Paris climate-change accord. But as the president himself noted during his speech earlier Monday, the U.S. has and continues to lead on environmental issues despite this withdrawal.
“Every single one of the signatories to the Paris Climate Accord lags behind America in overall emissions reductions. Who would think that is possible?” he said.
MacCallum did not appear convinced.
“He definitely has a different approach,” she replied to Perry. “I think the EPA under President Obama was criticized for being too aggressive in terms of increasing regulations that businesses felt were unfair in many cases, and you all have worked to roll those back.”
“The EPA isn’t even an agency that we hear a lot about in the Trump presidency. We haven’t heard from you a lot on this front, why is that?”
Her suggestion appeared to be that, because Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t spend as much time drawing attention to itself like Obama’s did, it must not be busy getting things done.
“Frankly, the EPA shouldn’t be heard from, when I think about it,” Perry replied. “This ought to be an agency that’s out there doing its work, getting rid of the regulations that are stopping businesses from getting done what they need to do, and putting practices in place that help clean up the environment.”
That, more specifically, “help clean up the environment” without simultaneously destroying the economy. The left’s endless exasperation with conservatives stems in part from the right’s refusal to sacrifice the economy at the altar of radical environmentalism.
Not to suggest that radical environmentalism would make the air and water cleaner. That’s false. Take socialist Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Besides bankrupting the country, the radical plan would also reportedly spur “significant environmental damage.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s policies — while not necessarily curing America’s environment of all its problems — have certainly not been damaging it, let alone the economy.
“America is leading the world in the reduction of energy-related emissions. That’s a great story. It’s one that we ought to be parroting and talking about and being quite proud of,” Perry added.
And the president has achieved this without sacrificing the economy.
“The United States does not have to sacrifice our own jobs to lead the world on the environment. … While we’re focused on practical solutions, more than 100 Democrats in Congress now support the so-called Green New Deal,” Trump said in his speech Monday.
“Their plan is estimated to cost our economy nearly $100 trillion — a number unthinkable; a number not affordable even in the best of times. If you go 150 years from now and we’ve had great success, that’s not a number that’s even thought to be affordable. It’ll kill millions of jobs, it’ll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans, and disproportionately harm minority communities.”
“I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.”
Listen to his full speech below:
In response, the media ran fact-checks disputing almost everything he said. However, the vast majority of the fact-checks appeared to begin like this: “This is true but requires context.”
“Trump touted drops in carbon emissions at the event,” one fact-check at CNN reads. ‘Since 2000, our nation’s energy-related carbon emissions have declined more than any other country on earth — think of that. Emissions are projected to drop in 2019 and 2020.'”
“Facts First: This is true but requires context. According to the International Energy Agency, the United States has seen the largest absolute decline in CO2 emissions since 2000 of any country. But America is still the second largest global producer of carbon emissions and last year saw its largest increase since 2010.”
It’s unclear why CNN didn’t also mention that global carbon emissions hit an all-time high last year:
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