McCrory talks winter storm, avoids climate change on 'Face the Nation'
Posted February 16
Raleigh, N.C. — Appearing on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday to talk about the winter storm that shut down the state last week, Gov. Pat McCrory sidestepped a pointed question about his position on climate change.
The question from host Bob Schieffer came at the end of a segment on North Carolina's response to the storm.
"Governor, a couple of years ago, you made a remark that caught a lot of people's attention. You said that global warming is 'in God's hands,'" Schieffer said. "After what you've - going through this thing, do you still feel that way? Is there something we ought to be doing about it in the meantime?"
"I think someone took a chop off the total sentence there," McCrory responded. "I will say this: I feel that there's always been climate change. The debate is, really, how much of it is man-made and how much will it cost to have any impact on climate change.
"My main argument is, let's clean up the environment, and as mayor and now as governor, I'm spending my time cleaning our air, cleaning our water, cleaning the ground," he continued. "I think that's where the argument should be on both the left and the right, and if that has an impact on climate change, good. But I think that's where the real argument should be, is doing what we can to clean up our environment.
"We also have to look for cost-effective ways to do it because, as governor, we're walking that fine line of keeping our environment clean but also continuing economic recovery and making sure things like power are affordable for the consumer," the governor concluded.
Schieffer did not ask about the state's other big recent story, the Dan River coal ash spill, or about the federal investigation of it launched last week. Both McCrory's administration and his longtime former employer, Duke Energy, have received subpoenas for documentation or communications pertaining to that coal ash pond.
Officials with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are expected to field questions about the coal ash spill at a Monday meeting of the state's Environmental Review Commission.
Out of context?
The quote Schieffer was referring to was accurate in context. It came during an interview McCrory did with Hickory talk-radio WHKY in April 2008, during his first campaign for governor. The host asked McCrory about "his stance on global warming" and what he would do about it as governor.
"I believe in cleaning the environment," McCrory responded at the time. "I don't get caught up in the 'global warming' debate because I frankly think some things are out of our hands. It's in God's hands, and frankly, the world has been warming for a long time."