KPCC reporters fact-check Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Tom Steyer's climate claims
On June 1, KPCC produced a live on-air special on President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. We interviewed U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, R-Orange County, and investor and environmental philanthropist Tom Steyer about their views on the decision. Afterwards, we received many comments from listeners who felt we did not sufficiently challenge their claims. KPCC environment reporter Emily Guerin and correspondent Matt Bloom have this fact-check.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher I have no doubt that there are these climate cycles and we go through them and it's only been until recently that the politicians have tried to claim that we have to control people's behavior in order to control those climate cycles. And so I disagree with the theory that CO2, done by mankind, is a major cause for climate change.Rohrabacher I think the CEOs [Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Igner, who both condemned the President's decision], they don't have to worry about the unemployment the Paris agreement would cause. Rohrabacher The people of the Paris accord were insisting on things like the ending of frequent flyer miles, because they see the airplanes just the worst violators. Rohrabacher We've had the most incredible, for the last 30 years, how do you say, political campaign to set a mindset in people's consciousness that some way every time there's some problem with the climate and you see a cycle going through, that that in some way has to do with human behavior, and thus there's an excuse to control human behavior. But I know a lot of people have looked into it who have come to this conclusion, and I certainly have, that there is a small impact of the manmade CO2 on the climate. Rohrabacher Al Gore said global warming was going to dramatically increase the sea level. And of course that never happened. Tom Steyer I think the president is attempting to make a winner out of the fossil fuel industry when it's in decline. Steyer I think what we've seen in the marketplace is that renewables plus storage is cheaper than fossil fuels. Steyer It's unrealistic to think that the federal government doesn't have a role to play in our economy. For one thing, they fund an awful lot of research. Steyer But the fact of the matter is number one, you have to acknowledge the problem (climate change) before you talk about solving it. And number two, we believe that solving it will create better jobs, better paying jobs, and will help the health of Americans. So we not only solve a huge threat to America but we make ourselves better off and healthier.