Trump, Biden spar over climate change at debate

Trump, Biden spar over climate change at debate
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President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate MORE sparred over climate change and their respective records on the issue during Tuesday night's presidential debate.

Moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden vaccine mandate puts McConnell, GOP leaders in a tough spot The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Biden's .5 trillion plan will likely have to shrink Breyer says term limits would 'make life easier for me' MORE asked Trump during one segment of the debate whether he believed that human greenhouse gas emissions contribute to warming of the planet.

“I think a lot of things do but I think to an extent yes,” the president said, later adding in reference to current wildfires blazing in the West that “we have to do better management of our forests."

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The vast majority of scientists believe that climate change is human-caused. Many forests in Western states facing wildfires are federally managed, like California, where about 57 percent of them are managed by the federal government.

Trump also defended his decision to roll back fuel economy standards, claiming that it made cars safer and cheaper.

“The car is much less expensive and it’s a much safer car and you’re talking about a tiny difference,” he said, calling California’s recent decision to try to phase out the sale of gas-powered cars “crazy.”

However, the cost-benefit analysis for the administration’s fuel economy standards found that consumers would ultimately pay $13 billion more in the next decade, in part due to spending more on gas because of lower fuel economy standards.

Meanwhile, Biden defended his own energy policies, saying they would create jobs.

The candidates became heated when Biden began to criticize Trump administration moves that roll back the regulations of methane emissions and weaken fuel economy standards.

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Trump interjected, invoking the Green New Deal, a group of policies advocated by progressives that are aimed at mobilizing the economy to fight climate change.

Biden’s campaign has called the Green New Deal a “crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face” but has refused to explicitly endorse it.

“It’s not $2 billion or $20 billion .. it’s $100 trillion,” Trump, said, calling the idea “the dumbest.”

American Action Forum, run by a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, has estimated that the Green New Deal would cost between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over 10 years.

Biden, meanwhile, hit Trump over reportedly suggesting using a nuclear weapon to stop hurricanes.

“He has an answer for hurricanes, he said maybe we should drop a nuclear weapon on them,” Biden said.

"I never said that at all," Trump interjected.