President Trump said Monday that he won’t allow the U.S. to squander its wealth of fossil fuels on the “dreams” of people who are concerned about climate change.
After missing a leaders’ meeting on climate change at the Group of Seven summit in France, Mr. Trump was asked whether he is still skeptical of warnings about global warming.
“I feel that the United States has tremendous wealth,” Mr. Trump said. “We are now the No. 1 energy producer in the world. I’ve made that wealth come alive. I’m not going to lose that on dreams — on windmills, which, frankly, aren’t working too well.”
Mr. Trump in 2017 pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, an international agreement that seeks reductions in greenhouse gases. He said the pact would have hurt the U.S. economy without imposing meaningful limits on greater polluters such as China.
The president said Monday that America’s vast energy resources are helping the country to meet a wide range of goals.
“I want a wealthy country — I want a spectacular country with the jobs with pensions with so many things,” the president said. “And that’s what we’re getting. We become a much richer country, and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Because that great wealth allows us to take care of people. We can take care of people that we couldn’t have taken care of in the past because of the great wealth. We can’t let that wealth be taken away.”
He also said he wants clean air and clean water.
“I want the cleanest air on Earth,” the president said. “And that’s what we’re doing. I’m an environmentalist. I think I know more about the environment than most people.”
White House aides said Mr. Trump missed a climate change session at the G-7 because he was attending other meetings. A senior presidential adviser represented the U.S. at the climate meeting instead.