ABC’s Stephanpoulos spars with Chris Christie over energy independence: Climate change is ‘existential crisis’

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ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said that climate change was an “existential crisis” during an exchange with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie about domestic oil production amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Sunday’s “This Week.”

Amid a discussion about the possibility of the U.S. banning Russian oil, Stephanopoulos asked Christie if the Republicans would “forgo criticizing” President Biden for increased gas prices if he makes the decision. 

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) CHRIS CHRISTIE

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) CHRIS CHRISTIE
(Lorenzo Bevilaqua)

“You have to do two things at the same time, and you should be able to. You have to ban Russian oil, and you have to increase domestic production. And that is where Joe Biden is going to have the problem because he’s held captive by the environmental left,” Christie said.

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The former New Jersey governor noted comments from John Kerry in which he said the war could have “profound negative impact on the climate.” The Biden administration climate envoy added he hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin “will help us stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.”

 “That will summarize what the far left’s view is about domestic oil production,” Christie said. 

Stephanopoulos quickly shot back by citing a United Nations report that he summarized as saying climate change “is an existential crisis and it’s getting worse.”

George Stephanopoulos.

George Stephanopoulos.
(AP)

“While people are being slaughtered? That’s what Kerry is talking about?” Christie asked as the other panelists tried to jump in. Panelist Donna Brazile interjected and said “we can do two things at once.”

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“We can protect our planet, we can protect our earth, climate change is also real. That’s why the only approach is not drill, drill, drill, our approach is to be strategic and make sure our European allies stick with us because it’s going to get very painful,” she continued, applauding Biden and his actions so far. 

“It should have happened a long time ago,” Christie said earlier in the segment of the potential oil ban. “We should have been arming the Ukrainians for the last year, we weren’t. We should have been doing much more on domestic production of oil, instead we’re going backwards, and we gave Putin the card to hold us hostage.”

Jonathan Karl, ABC’s Chief Washington correspondent, said earlier on that it was “extraordinary” that Biden was sanctioning everything but Russian oil, “the thing that drives their economy.”

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden speaks about the COVID-19 vaccination program during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, July 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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“The question of banning the import of oil and gas from Russia,” Karl said. “It is not insignificant. We actually take in more petroleum from Russia then we do from Saudi Arabia. It’s extraordinary, George, for all the sanctions that have been imposed, and they have been unprecedented on Russia, to sanction everything but the thing that drives our economy.” 

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