Commerce Sec Calls Out Lauer’s Blatant Bias on Climate Deal

In a hostile interview with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Friday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer didn’t even bother to conceal his contempt for President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. In response, the cabinet official exposed the anchor’s liberal bias on the topic.

After Lauer demanded that his guest react to liberal CEO’s incensed by Trump’s decision and wondering if walking away from the agreement “damaged our national security,” Ross defended the President: “The country has actually reduced its emissions quite a little bit, largely due to the advent of natural gas as a replacement for higher pollutive fossil fuels....the President hasn’t changed any of that. He is an environmentalist, I’ve known him for a long time. He’s very pro-environment.”

Lauer completely lost it: “How can you say he’s an environmentalist when he’s rolled back many of the initiatives of the Obama administration and now he’s basically taken a 180 degree turn from what the Obama administration did in signing this Paris Accord?” Ross hit back: “Well, you’re taking as the given that the Obama administration was right and any other action was wrong. I don’t agree with that assumption.”

The morning show host whined: “What about 195 other countries around the world?” Ross accurately pointed out how the deal unfairly benefitted many nations at the expense of the U.S.:

Yeah, those other countries aren’t front-ending burdens the way that we were asked to do. This agreement, as I understand it, would have allowed China to keep increasing its emissions all the way out til 2030. That’s hardly climate control. We were giving money up front, they’re able to continue increasing their emissions through 2030. Is that a balanced deal? I don’t think so.

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Lauer desperately tried to spin those lopsided terms: “There’s no question about it, it was weighted in different ways for different countries, but the Chinese had committed to reducing their emissions by about 60% after 2030.”

Earlier in the exchange Lauer ironically complained that the President’s opposition to the agreement was based on “a survey that was conducted back in 2005 that’s been roundly criticized because it basically took hypothetical numbers and plugged them in, in the worst-case scenario in just about every aspect of the Paris Accord and came up with kind of a doomsday scenario.”

It was completely lost on him that using “hypothetical numbers” to create a “worst-case” “doomsday scenario” was precisely the practice routinely employed by climate change activists and media.

Here is a full transcript of the June 2 report:

7:08 AM ET

MATT LAUER: We’re joined now by the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. Mr. Secretary, it’s good to see you this morning, thanks for joining us.

WILBUR ROSS: Good to be on with you, Matt.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump’s Climate Exit; Commerce Secretary on Controversial Decision]

LAUER: Before you joined the President’s cabinet, you’re a business guy, you made a name for yourself and a fortune in the business world. What do you say to your former colleagues in business, what do you say to CEOs of major companies, what do you say to people like Elon Musk and Bob Iger, who have now pulled off the President’s Business Advisory Council in protest over this? Why are they wrong?

ROSS: Well, I think they’re wrong because what the President is not doing is saying he’s not going to try to improve climate. What he is saying is this particular agreement does not appeal, was destructive of U.S. economic growth going out into the future. I think they’re confusing the withdrawal from the agreement with the idea that he’s against helping the climate. That’s not the case.

LAUER: But when you talk about the impact on the economy, you talk about the loss of jobs, you’re echoing what the President said in the Rose Garden yesterday, and I believe you’re both quoting from a survey that was conducted back in 2005 that’s been roundly criticized because it basically took hypothetical numbers and plugged them in, in the worst case scenario in just about every aspect of the Paris Accord and came up with kind of a doomsday scenario. You wouldn’t use that kind of survey in the world of business, would you?

ROSS: Well, you should know what your downside is. That’s an important thing. And particularly when you’re trying to forecast events many years out into the future, it's very, very difficult to be accurate. So while there may be people who say that this particular case is the downside case, that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong, and it doesn’t mean that directionally it isn’t right.

LAUER: Let me ask you this, Secretary Ross. There are many members of the President’s inner circle – and I’m thinking of Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis – who argued for staying in the Paris Accord. And one of the reasons they came up with was that fighting climate change is a matter of national security. So by pulling out of the Paris Accords, have we damaged our national security?

ROSS: Absolutely not. There’s nothing that the withdrawal requires us to do that we don’t want to do. The country has actually reduced its emissions quite a little bit, largely due to the advent of natural gas as a replacement for higher pollutive fossil fuels. So we are – the President hasn’t changed any of that. He is an environmentalist, I’ve known him for a long time. He’s very pro-environment.

LAUER: How can you say he’s an environmentalist when he’s rolled back many of the initiatives of the Obama administration and now he’s basically taken a 180 degree turn from what the Obama administration did in signing this Paris Accord?

ROSS: Well, you’re taking as the given that the Obama administration was right and any other action was wrong. I don’t agree with that assumption.  

LAUER: What about 195 other countries around the world?

ROSS: Yeah, those other countries aren’t front-ending burdens the way that we were asked to do. This agreement, as I understand it, would have allowed China to keep increasing its emissions all the way out til 2030. That’s hardly climate control. We were giving money up front, they’re able to continue increasing their emissions through 2030. Is that a balanced deal? I don’t think so.

LAUER: There’s no question about it, it was weighted in different ways for different countries, but the Chinese had committed to reducing their emissions by about 60% after 2030. I’ll leave it on that. We’ve got an awful lot of the minutia we could get into. Secretary Ross, I really appreciate you joining me this morning. Thank you.  

ROSS: Thank you for having me on.

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