Top House Republican: Idea that CO2 is harmful is ‘comical’

By: Diana Sweet, April 20, 2009

In a boisterous exchange with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the top House Republican said that declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant was “almost comical” and repeated denials that humans are responsible for global warming.

“George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) quipped. “Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide.

“So you don’t believe that greenhouse gases are a problem in creating climate change?” Stephanopoulos interjected.

“We’ve had climate change over the last 100 years — listen, it’s clear we’ve had change in our climate,” Boehner replied. “The question is how much does man have to do with it, and what is the proper way to deal with this? We can’t do it alone as one nation. If we got India, China and other industrialized countries not working with us, all we’re going to do is ship millions of American jobs overseas.”

The ABC host seemed a bit flummoxed, and struggled to nail down Boehner’s position on emissions.

“It sounds like from what you’re saying that you don’t believe that Republicans need to come up with a plan to control carbon emissions?” Stephanopoulos remarked. “You’re suggesting it’s not that big of a problem, even though the scientific consensus is that it has contributed to the climate change. ”

Boehner pivoted: “I think it is — I think it is an issue. The question is, what is the proper answer and the responsible answer?”

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