President Donald Trump said he knows “more about the environment than most people” when asked about his skepticism regarding climate change Monday during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
“I’ve got more environmental impact statements probably than anybody … more than anybody that has ever been president or vice president or anything even close to president. I think I know more about the environment than most people,” Trump said.
He went on to list the U.S.’s success in the energy industry, saying it is the “No. 1 energy producer in the world.”
He added the industry is creating “tremendous wealth, and [liquefied natural gas] LNG is being sought over all over Europe and all over the world. … I’m not going to lose that wealth. I’m not going to lose it on dreams — on windmills, which, frankly, aren’t working too well.”
“In a nutshell, I want the cleanest water on Earth. I want the cleanest air on Earth. That’s what we’re doing. And I’m an environmentalist,” he continued. “A lot of people don’t understand that.” (RELATED: Trump Administration Touts Record On The Environment)
The president said he wants clean air, clean water and a wealthy, “spectacular” country with “jobs, with pensions, with so many things, and that’s what we’re getting, so we should be careful.”
“At the same, it’s very important to me — we have to maintain this incredible place that we’ve all built. We’ve become a much richer country, and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing. … We can take care of people that we couldn’t have taken care of in the past cause of the great wealth. We can’t let that wealth be taken away,” the president concluded.
Trump was the only G7 leader not in attendance at a climate meeting Monday due to prescheduled meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to the White House.
A senior administration official reportedly took Trump’s place to make up for his absence, though photographers still captured pictures of his empty chair.
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