Chris Wallace Presses Trump on Climate Change, President Defends Environmental Record

CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 29: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the first presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the first of three planned debates between the two candidates …
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Fox News moderator Chris Wallace at the presidential debate on Tuesday prefaced his question to President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden about climate change by implying that the forest fires ravaging the state of California are due to climate change. He asked Trump if he is reelected, how he would address the problem.

“I want crystal clean water and air,” Trump said. “I want beautiful clean air. We have now the lowest carbon — if you look at our numbers right now, we are doing phenomenally. But I haven’t destroyed our businesses. Our businesses aren’t put out of commission. If you look at the Paris Accord, it was a disaster from our standpoint, and people are actually happy about what’s going on because our businesses are doing well.”

Trump, who has tried to put fire management into practice through the Department of Interior, said that action can be taken to protect the environment.

“As far as the fires are concerned, you need forest management,” Trump said.

“What do you believe about the science of climate change, sir?” Wallace asked.

“I believe we have to do everything we can to have immaculate air, immaculate water, and do whatever else we can — you know, we’re planting a billion trees — the billion trees project. And it’s very exciting,” Trump said.

Wallace pressed Trump on so-called man-made climate change, and Trump repeated that man can do more to manage the environment to prevent catastrophic events like wildfires. And that every fire season, states request federal help while rejecting his efforts to manage forests on public land.

“If you had good forest management, you wouldn’t be getting those calls,” Trump said.

Wallace also grilled Trump on rolling back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan that over-regulated the energy sector.

“Because it was raising energy prices through the sky,” Trump replied.

During his tenure, Trump has achieved energy independence in the United States, ending the reliance on foreign entities to provide energy resources, including oil and natural gas.

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