President Donald Trump on Monday rejected the findings of a sobering report about the economic costs of climate change that was released by his own administration.
“I don’t believe it,” he told reporters outside the White House before boarding Air Force One for a flight to Mississippi.
The president also attempted to place the blame for global warming on China, Japan and “all these other countries.”
“Right now, we’re the cleanest we’ve ever been,” he claimed.
The White House released the 1,700-page report the day after Thanksgiving, which many critics have said was an apparent attempt to bury the alarming findings. The report, which was produced by scientists from 13 federal agencies, concluded the United States would warm at least 3 more degrees by 2100 unless the use of fossil fuels was dramatically curtailed. It also connected climate change to other environmental issues, like record-breaking wildfires and storms, and warned of negative effects on the economy and American livelihoods.
A number of Republican senators downplayed the report and countered that federal efforts to reduce climate change could “devastate” the economy.
“I think if we’re going to move away from fossil fuels, it’s got to be done through innovation. And innovation can be choked out through excessive government regulation. We can’t let that happen,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The U.S. has warmed roughly 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the past century, and 2017 was the country’s second-hottest year in history. Last year, the U.S. spent a record $306 billion on climate-related disasters.
Trump ― who has rolled back numerous Obama-era climate protections and has moved to expand oil drilling in U.S. waters ― announced last year that the U.S. would withdraw from the 2015 Paris accord to combat climate change.