Trump Navy secretary nominee: Climate change is real and poses a threat

Trump Navy secretary nominee: Climate change is real and poses a threat
© Getty Images

President Trump’s Navy secretary nominee said Tuesday he is “totally aware” of the threat posed by climate change and committed to addressing it if confirmed.

“The Navy is totally aware of rising water issues, storm issues, etc.” nominee Richard V. Spencer told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

“We must protect our infrastructure, and I will work hard to make sure we are keeping an eye on that because without the infrastructure, we lose readiness.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Spencer was answering a question about climate change from Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro: Trump should be impeached for trying to obstruct justice 'in very concrete ways' Poll: Biden tops Sanders nationally Pete Buttigieg: 'God doesn't have a political party' MORE (D-Mass.), who noted the Navy had previously established climate change as an operational and national security threat.

The Navy released a climate change “roadmap” in 2010 that called it a “national security challenge with strategic implications for the Navy.”

The Pentagon has long considered climate change a threat. Defense Secretary James Mattis has said he believes the science of climate change and that it is “impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.” 

Trump, though, has raised doubts about the science behind climate change, calling it a “hoax” created by the Chinese and rolling back Obama-era polices designed to address it.