Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) denied manmade climate change in a debate this week against his congressional challenger Ami Bera (D).
Responding to a question about global warming, Lungren claimed there’s a “question” on whether climate change is caused by human activity:
LUNGREN: There is no doubt that there is global change, climate change. The question is who causes it and is it caused predominantly by human activity. It seems to me we ought to take reasonable steps but not steps that so put us in a disadvantageous situation economically that we will have less jobs. There’s those that cry about their concern for jobs and then support the very things that would absolutely destroy jobs. We have an example of that in the current administration that I believe is supported by my opponent to try and basically ruin the coal industry in the United States, losing us tens of thousands of jobs instead of pursuing the cleanest technology in the area of coal. [...]
MODERATOR: So you’re suggesting the global warming change may not be caused by manmade sources?
LUNGREN: No, my suggestion is we don’t know to what extent it is and to what extent moves we would take on our own in the United States would have an effect. At the same time I believe it makes good common sense to try and reduce carbon emissions where possible, as I’ve done in the U.S. capitol.
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Lungren is part of the camp of Republicans with close ties to the oil and coal industries, and attempt to cast doubt on the science. But there is firm scientific consensus that carbon pollution is driving global warming, with 97 percent of published climate scientists in agreement.
The oil and gas industry has donated more than $147,000 to Lungren’s campaign since 2006, including $10,000 contributions from Koch Industries and Chevron PACs, based on Open Secrets data. He’s received thousands more from the coal industry.
The congressman has faced heat before on climate change. At a town hall meeting in August, a constituent confronted Lungren, saying “I’m horrified that you would ignore scientific evidence just to appease the moneyed interests of big oil which gives generously to your campaign.” Meanwhile, Lungren’s home state has suffered from damaging wildfires and extreme heat this summer.