UPI

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden sparred over climate change and their respective records on the issue during Tuesday night’s presidential debate.

Moderator Chris Wallace 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.”

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.

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.

Tags Chris Wallace Donald Trump Joe Biden

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