- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

During an hourlong press conference at the White House Tuesday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry called for an “intellectual conversation” on climate change, arguing that the issue has become far too political and divisive.

Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor and two-time presidential candidate, acknowledged man’s impact on the climate but also rejected the idea that the science is completely settled on the matter.

“The climate is changing. Man is having an impact on it. I’ve said that time after time — the idea that we can’t have an intellectual conversation about just what are the actual impacts?” he said. “Why not have a conversation about that? What is the other side, the people who say the science is settled, it’s done? If you don’t believe that, you’re a skeptic … I don’t buy that. This is America. Have a conversation. Let’s come out of the shadows of hiding behind your political statements and let’s talk bout it. What’s wrong with that? I can be convinced, but why not let’s talk about it?”

Mr. Perry also said he has not spoken with President Trump — who has referred to climate change as a “hoax” — about the issue and could not say whether the president believes the climate is changing, or if man is having an impact.

The secretary’s appearance at the White House Tuesday coincided with the administration’s “Energy Week,” in which officials focus on American energy production, innovation, and technological advances in clean coal technology, oil drilling and renewable energy.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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