During an interview with Vice News released yesterday, President Obama said that some members of Congress’ ties with the fossil-fuel industry influenced their judgment when it comes to climate change.
After being asked about the Republicans’ denial that man-made climate change exists, Obama said that the GOP was absolutely going to have to rethink its strategy.
“I guarantee you that the Republican party will have to change its approach to climate change because voters will insist upon it. The challenge on something like climate change is there comes a point of no return and you do have to make sure we get at this thing quick enough and with enough force to be able make a difference. On climate change, 90 percent of Democrats agree with me, and 90 percent of Republicans oppose any action on it and a sizable proportion of their party denies it even exists. It’s not both sides arguing and ceasing gridlock, you’ve got one side that is denying the facts.”
Vice founder Shane Smith then asked the president why he thought such resistance and disconnect existed.
“In some cases, you have elected officials who are shills for the oil companies or the fossil fuel industry and there’s a lot of money involved,” President Obama said. “Typically in Congress, the committees of jurisdiction are populated by folks from places that pump a lot of oil and pump a lot of gas.”
The president also said he was optimistic about future generations fighting to reverse the effects of global warming because his daughters, aged 16 and 13, have a “sophistication and awareness” about environmental issues.
“Compared to my generation or yours — they’re way ahead of the game,” Obama told Smith.
Watch the president’s full interview with Vice News.