Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday shared a vision for America’s energy sector, leading with a pledge to unravel President Joe Biden’s ongoing efforts to fight climate change while dismissing threats from intensifying weather events as “fear tactics.”
Speaking in Midland, Texas, the Republican presidential hopeful said people were “safer than ever from climate disasters,” arguing that Democrats and Biden were pushing an “ideological agenda.”
“We’ve seen a concerted effort to ramp up the fear when it comes to things like global warming and climate change,” DeSantis said.
In response to a question from CNN about concerns people have over recent instances of flooding and wildfire smoke, the governor acknowledged that climate disasters were “problematic” but said that the federal reaction to such threats needs to be “a little more realistic.”
His comments come as communities across the globe are facing intensifying natural disasters, from wildfires across Canada to historic deadly flooding in Libya. DeSantis leads a state as vulnerable to climate change as any in the country. As governor, he has taken steps to harden Florida’s coastline against rising sea levels. Yet his comments Wednesday were among the most forceful to date in rejecting the scientific consensus surrounding man-made global warming.
“We deal with hurricanes in Florida,” he said. “We deal with fires too in Florida, but what I would say is when … Joe Biden says that he’s more worried, like in 10 years, with the climate than a nuclear war, I mean, I’m sorry, that’s just not true.”
Flanked by two oil rigs in West Texas, DeSantis vowed to withdraw the United States from global climate change pacts and end all commitments for the country to cut net greenhouse emissions to zero, while greenlighting more pipelines and allow mining and extraction of oil, gas, coal, uranium and other minerals on federal lands.
DeSantis’ energy proposal also includes a pledge to bring gas prices down to $2 by 2025, a lofty goal that would be tested by international complexities that typically drive oil prices.