US President Barack Obama has predicted Republicans will eventually ditch their skepticism about climate change in order to keep favor with voters.
“I guarantee you that the Republican Party will have to change its approach to climate change, because voters will insist upon it,” Obama said in an interview with Vice news released Monday.
Referencing his daughters Sasha (aged 13) and Malia (aged 16), Obama said the next generation was more knowledgeable about the environment than the current electorate.
“The sophistication and awareness they have about environmental issues, compared to my generation,” Obama said, adding: “They are way ahead of the game.”
Obama said much of the resistance to change comes from consumers’ concerns about cost and from vested interests in Congress.
He accused some lawmakers of being “shills” for energy interests.
“In some cases… we have elected officials who are shills for the oil companies or the fossil fuel industry, and there is a lot of money involved,” he said.
“Typically in Congress, the committees of jurisdiction — like the energy committees — are populated by folks from places that pump a lot of oil and pump a lot of gas.”