AMES, Iowa -- Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Democratic presidential candidate, believes humans are adversely impacting the environment and thinks the world needs to make substantial, immediate efforts to combat climate change. But he also wants party activists to remember the livelihoods of people who work in the fossil fuels industry.
"Oh, no," Bullock told Channel 13 when responding to whether he is downplaying the urgency of combating climate change. Far from that, he says.
"Take bold" steps Bullock said of the direction he wants the country to take. Bullock supports increased use of biofuels, wind and solar, along with pushing for more fuel-efficient vehicles, homes and buildings. "We've doubled our wind, quadrupled our solar in the last six years," he said of his efforts as governor.
He called President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris international effort to fight climate change "absurd."
During Bullock's visit, Iowa was experiencing another series of erratic weather patterns that have produced widespread flooding and several tornadoes. Bullock said his state has also experienced a rash of wildfires that had forced him to declare a state of emergency in 2017.
Those are all reminders, he believes, that the country must more seriously address what is happening in the environment.
Scientists have pointed to escalating global temperatures, rising sea levels and volatile weather patterns as proof that humans are harming the environment and dramatic changes are vital for the future.
While Bullock said that he is committed to addressing climate change as president, he also wants people to understand that it will take time to transition away from fossil fuels.
"You have a whole lot of people out there that have spent their lives working to power this country," Bullock said, "and too many Democrats treat them as the enemy as we’re moving to getting to zero emission."