Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan on Sunday defended previous comments he made casting worrying about climate change as a “luxury,” calling the issue a “top priority” and saying that combating climate change should be viewed as a “jobs program.”
“I’m talking about the auto worker that just lost their job and can’t pay their mortgage, and they have to leave their kids to go work in another factory, and they’re not sure what their future looks like,” he said during a CNN town hall of his previous comments on the “Pod Save America” podcast. “And my argument is, we’ve got to understand that they don’t have the bandwidth to talk about climate because they’re worried about putting food on the table for their kids and they’re worried about where their next paycheck’s going to come from.”
Ryan said that he’d attempt to reach those people by viewing climate change as a “jobs program.”
“I talk about reversing climate change as a jobs program. We should dominate the electric vehicle market. We should dominate the battery market. We should dominate the charging station market,” he said, adding that China is currently dominating the electric vehicle and solar markets.
“Let’s talk about it in the context of jobs. Solar’s growing at 30% a year; wind’s growing at 20% a year. We’re going to make 30 million electric vehicles in the next 10 years. I want those made in the United States, and let’s steer the investment to the communities that have lost: communities of color, old coal, old auto, old steel, old rubber,” he said.