Energy & Environment

Biden adviser says reducing red meat isn’t sole climate change solution

The White House’s national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, responded on Sunday to claims made by Republicans that President Biden’s climate plan includes a ban on red meat, concluding that “we’re all in a lotta trouble” if people think consuming less meat is the “entire solution to climate change.”

In an “Axios on HBO” interview that aired Sunday, journalist Mike Allen asked McCarthy why the “completely made-up notion” pushed by “right-wing media” that Biden was “coming for your hamburgers” took off.

McCarthy, who previously served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Obama, took the question as an opportunity to hit Republicans for having a “very losing argument.”

“If you have to make up stuff like that, you must have a very losing argument, number one,” McCarthy said. “And secondly, man, if people think that switching your hamburger or going down to less meat is the entire solution to climate change, we’re all in a lotta trouble.” 

McCarthy’s remarks come after Larry Kudlow, the chief economic adviser under former President Trump, last month said that Biden’s climate plan is coming for American meat, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to announce that there was no truth to the claims.

“There’s a study coming out of the University of Michigan which says that to meet the Biden Green New Deal targets, America has to, get this, America has to stop eating meat. Stop eating poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy and animal-based fats,” Kudlow said on his Fox Business show.

“No burgers on July 4. No steaks on the barbie. I’m sure Middle America is just gonna love that. Can you grill those Brussels sprouts? So get ready, you can throw back a plant-based beer with your grilled Brussels sprouts and wave your American flag,” he added.

A swarm of Republican lawmakers chimed in on Kudlow’s comments.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) tweeted a photo of Biden eating a hamburger with the caption “The Hamburglar.” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted for Biden to “stay out of my kitchen.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) joined the chorus of Republican lawmakers by tweeting, “Not gonna happen in Texas!”

The USDA called the claims made by Republicans “a fabrication.”

“This is a fabrication. There is no such effort or policy that exists by this Administration. It’s not a part of the climate plan nor the emissions targets. It is not real,” a USDA spokesperson previously told The Hill.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also denied the notion that there is an effort to limit red meat consumption.

“There is no effort designed to limit people’s intake of beef coming out of President Biden’s White House or USDA,” Vilsack said during a virtual briefing hosted by the North American Agricultural Journalists, according to Politico. “Sometimes in the political world, games get played and issues are injected into the conversation knowing full well that there’s no factual basis.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) mocked Kudlow’s comments days later, tweeting a photo of himself with the caption “Excited to be watching the Oscars with an ice cold plant-based beer.”

Tags Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Gina McCarthy Joe Biden Larry Kudlow Lauren Boebert Marjorie Taylor Greene Tom Vilsack
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