California Governor Jerry Brown said Wednesday that his state would fight President-elect Donald Trump on climate change if the new administration tries to ditch policies that combat global warming—even quipping that California could go as far as launching "its own damn satellite."
Brown, speaking before the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union in San Fransisco, said Trump's election had brought a "miasma of nonsense" to political issues, particularly climate change, according to a Los Angeles Times report. In response, Brown promised to enlist California's resources to challenge Trump. "We've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers and we're ready to fight," he said during his speech.
Environmental policy experts say Trump's election thrust state governments into an increasingly important role in the fight against climate change. The President-elect has selected a number of cabinet officials who question the science of global warming, including former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Energy Secretary and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, and has promised to roll back many of the energy regulations implemented under President Obama.
Scientists have also grown alarmed in recent weeks as Trump's transition team has shown signs the new administration may try to undermine scientists employed by the federal government. A survey sent to the Department of Energy asked for the names of employees who worked on climate issues and attended United Nations climate conferences. A transition official also indicated that Trump might try to eliminate NASA's Earth sciences department.
Brown directly confronted concerns over the incoming administration hampering science, saying California would pick up the slack. "If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite," said Brown, recalling the Governor Moonbeam nickname he earned in the 1970s thanks to his push for a state satellite.