Pence Can’t Justify His Climate Denial — So He Just Lied

Washington, D.C. — There is no debate: Climate change is real and is happening now. Tonight, Mike Pence proved once again that he will reject facts, ignore reality, and lie to cover-up the administration’s failed record. 

Multiple times throughout the debate, a backed-into-the-corner Pence denied universally-accepted science on how the climate crisis is fueling more dangerous, deadly, and frequent storms, and attempted to paint Kamala Harris’ support of clean energy jobs and climate action as radical. But this only shows how out of touch Pence is with voters. The vast majority of Americans strongly support reducing carbon emissions and taking bold government action to confront the climate crisis. 

“When Pence was confronted with the consequences of his climate denial, his only response was to lie. What he couldn’t offer was any sort of plan or solution,” said Lori Lodes, Executive Director of Climate Power 2020. “This is a losing strategy. Pence and Trump want to distract from their toxic, anti-science record but voters don’t buy their BS.”

According to recent polling from Yale University, two-thirds of the country is concerned about climate change and think Trump and Congress must do more. In fact, Pence’s and Trump’s corrupt records on climate change and the environment are a liability, including among Republican-leaning persuadable voters. Sixty-two percent of Republican-leaning persuadable voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the job Trump is doing on climate. 

Because Pence spent most of the evening spinning climate lies, we’ve rounded up some of Pence’s worst distractions:

Climate change is real. Even if Pence can’t bring himself to believe it.

Pence desperately tried to distract from the fact that they’ve only offered “thoughts & prayers” while the mounting climate crisis demands bold climate action. 

  • Pence’s only response was to repeatedly lie about Biden’s climate plan.
  • Biden’s climate plan would take immediate bold action to build a clean energy future while creating 10 million clean energy jobs, and moving the U.S. on a path to net-zero emissions.
  • In stark contrast, Trump’s and Pence’s war on renewable energy and the mishandling of the pandemic has cost our country more than 1.1 million clean energy jobs.
  • Despite Pence and Trump’s obsession, voters aren’t buying these lies.
  • Voters are skeptical of Republican claims on not only costs but also hamburgers, cars, and airplanes. When voters were asked to describe Trump and Republicans in three words after hearing the most common GOP attacks against the Green New Deal, the dominant responses were “liars,” followed closely by “greedy,” “selfish,” and “corrupt.”

Pence repeatedly insisted Biden wants to ban fracking. No matter how many times Pence and Trump say this, it is still not true. 

  • Biden’s plan would not ban fracking —  instead, it would modernize the U.S. economy and phase out new fracking permits only on federal public lands.
  • The Biden plan would follow the science to adopt common-sense protections against the pollution that affects our air and water and calls for investing in 250,000 jobs to plug abandoned oil and natural gas wells.

Trump and Pence refuse to “follow the science” on climate disasters like supercharged hurricanes and climate fires, they deny it. 

  • The National Climate Assessment report in 2014 made it clear that heavy downpours are increasing nationally and are driven by warmer air holding more water vapor in the atmosphere
  • Scientists have established that climate change is making hurricanes stronger and more frequent
  • The Trump administration has failed to lead — as extreme weather events linked to climate change have cost American taxpayers $462 billion during Trump’s tenure in the White House.

The Pence-Trump Administration is Making Our Air and Water More Polluted.

  • Pence claimed that the U.S. has some of the cleanest air and water in the world because of Trump. This is a lie.
  • But this isn’t just another lie from Trump and Pence — it’s a deadly denial of the climate injustices communities of color face every day.
  • Communities of color breathe in 40% more polluted air than white communities across the US, according to the NAACP’s 2012 “Coal-Blooded” study. And according to one 2017 study, Black Americans are three times more likely to die from exposure to air pollutants than white Americans. 

No amount of false rhetoric can change reality: Pence and Trump’s selfish, anti-science agenda threatens our health, our jobs, and future generations. 

  • The Trump-Pence science denial has cost the United States more than 210,000 lives and millions of jobs because of their disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Trump administration’s environmental policies have contributed to a loss of more than 620,000 potential good-paying clean energy jobs and could result in an increase in 80,000-related deaths per decade.
  • The Trump administration has failed to lead as extreme weather events linked to climate change have cost American taxpayers $450 billion during his tenure in the White House.