John Kasich Dismisses Climate Change As ‘Some Theory That’s Not Proven’

The Ohio governor suggests that action to fight global warming could kill jobs.

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich fields a question during the first Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena on August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent political polls. 
National Journal
Clare Foran
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Clare Foran
Aug. 9, 2015, 7:34 a.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich sug­ges­ted that man-made cli­mate change may not be real and that ac­tion to fight it could kill jobs dur­ing an in­ter­view on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

“We don’t want to des­troy people’s jobs based on some the­ory that’s not proven,” Kasich said when asked by host Chuck Todd if he be­lieves that cli­mate change is man made and that man should do something about it.

Kasich ad­ded that “man ab­so­lutely af­fects the en­vir­on­ment” but said that he thinks that “as to the over­all im­pact of that, I think that’s a le­git­im­ate de­bate.”

Des­pite a head­line-grabbing per­form­ance in Thursday’s Re­pub­lic­an prime-time pres­id­en­tial de­bate, Kasich still faces an up­hill battle to prove that he is a vi­able 2016 con­tender after nearly miss­ing the polling cutoff to ap­pear on the de­bate’s main stage.

Me­dia at­ten­tion could yield the pub­li­city that the Ohio gov­ernor badly needs to bol­ster his stand­ing in na­tion­al polls, but the spot­light will also pres­sure the can­did­ate to cla­ri­fy his po­s­i­tions on a wide ar­ray of con­ten­tious is­sues, in­clud­ing cli­mate change.

The Kasich 2016 cam­paign sought to cla­ri­fy the can­did­ate’s re­marks fol­low­ing his ap­pear­ance on Meet the Press, say­ing: “The gov­ernor has long be­lieved cli­mate change is real and we need to so something about it. The de­bate over ex­act per­cent­ages of why it is hap­pen­ing is less im­port­ant than what can be done about it. We know it is real, we know man has an im­pact, and we know we need to do something.”

Un­like many Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial con­tenders, Kasich has ex­pressed con­cern over cli­mate change in the past.

“I am a be­liev­er — my good­ness, I am a Re­pub­lic­an — I hap­pen to be­lieve there is a prob­lem with cli­mate change. I don’t want to over­re­act to it, I can’t meas­ure it all, but I re­spect the cre­ation that the Lord has giv­en us, and I want to make sure we pro­tect it,” Kasich said in 2012.

Com­ments like that have ap­peared to set Kasich apart from lead­ing GOP 2016 con­tenders such as Ted Cruz, who has said that there has been no glob­al warm­ing in re­cent years.

The Ohio gov­ernor has also been quick to tout ef­forts to cut emis­sions in his state and he praises clean en­ergy.

“In my state of Ohio, we pre­ciously take care of Lake Erie, we’ve re­duced emis­sions by 30 per­cent over the last 10 years, we be­lieve in al­tern­at­ive en­ergy,” Kasich said on Sunday.

Some en­vir­on­ment­al­ists have watched Kasich with in­terest, won­der­ing if he might take a more mod­er­ate stand on the is­sue than some of his fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans. But Sunday’s re­marks sug­gest that Kasich may side with mem­bers of his party who say that any kind of over­arch­ing ac­tion to fight cli­mate change would ul­ti­mately hurt the eco­nomy and kill jobs.

The vast ma­jor­ity of sci­ent­ists say that cli­mate change is real, that it poses a threat to the Earth, and that it is driv­en primar­ily by hu­man activ­it­ies like the burn­ing of fossil fuels.

This story has been up­dated.

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