President-elect Donald Trump claimed in a "Fox News Sunday" interview that "nobody really knows" if climate change is real, despite broad scientific consensus that the climate is warming largely due to human consumption of fossil fuels.
Trump told host Chris Wallace that he remains "very open-minded" about climate change, one of the key policy issues in South Florida. Yet the president-elect added that he worries the Obama administration hurt business by adopting federal rules to cut carbon emissions.
"I'm still open-minded. Nobody really knows," Trump said. "Look, I'm somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It's not something that's so hard and fast. I do know this: Other countries are eating our lunch."
Trump said other countries like China and Mexico allow companies to build industrial and manufacturing plants more quickly because they have fewer environmental regulations.
"They don't wait 10 years to get an approval to build a plant, OK?" he said. "They build it like the following day or the following week. We can't let all of these permits that take forever to get stop our jobs."
Last week, Trump announced he intends to nominate Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a climate-change denier, to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Would that "take a wrecking ball to the Obama legacy," Wallace asked.
"No, no, no," Trump said. "I don't want to do that at all. I just want what's right."
As a candidate, Trump called climate change a Chinese "hoax," a characterization he later suggested was a joke. He told the Miami Herald in August that he's "not a big believer in man-made climate change."