President Barack Obama again lashed out at climate change deniers on Friday, saying they’re “wasting everybody’s time.”
“Here in California you know what’s happening and more and more Americans do, including many Republicans outside of Washington,” Obama said speaking at a Walmart in Moutain View, California, where he was promoting the solar industry. “Inside Washington we still have climate deniers who shout loud but they are wasting everybody’s time. Climate change is a fact.”
The Obama administration has faced scrutiny over the years for pushing federal subsidies to politically connected green energy companies, most notably Solyndra, a California company that folded despite a $500 billion from the Department of Energy.
During the president’s first term, the administration spent $9 billion on solar and wind subsidies to 19 different green companies that resulted in 910 direct jobs, according to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Nevertheless, Obama announced new executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency spending for federal buildings. He is also supporting a public-private partnership to promote more private and local spending on green energy.
The Walmart Obama spoke at gets 25 percent of its energy from solar power.
“We’re becoming a global leader in solar, thanks in part to the investments we’ve made in the recovery act over the past few years, the cost of solar panels have fallen by 60 percent,” Obama said. “Solar installations increased by 500 percent.”
The speech came the week that the White House released the National Climate Assessment that warned of severe floods, draughts and disease if the federal government did not take drastic action to stop global warming. He said the assessment “found unequivocally it is not a far off problem in the future. It’s happening now and causing hardship now.”
“Rising sea levels and more severe storms, those are bad for the economy,” Obama said. “So we can’t afford to wait and there’s no reason why we can’t even go further than we are so far by working with states and utilities and other organizations to change the way we power our economy. climate change is real and we have to act now.”