POLITICS
03/13/2014 05:05 pm ET | Updated Mar 13, 2014

Chamber Of Commerce Witness Dodges Questions On Whether Climate Change Is Real

Karen Alderman Harbert, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy testified at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday focused on the Keystone XL pipeline. During the hearing, committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) asked Harbert about the Chamber of Commerce's position on climate change.

The question came after Harbert stated, "If you are in support of the environment, you are in support of the pipeline" -- a statement most environmental advocates would disagree with.

Menendez asked Harbert whether that means the Chamber considers itself "an environmentalist organization.” The Chamber has opposed regulations on greenhouse gases, and even suggested in 2009 that climate change is a net benefit for humankind.

He followed up with a more specific question for Harbert. "Does the Chamber believe that climate change is real and caused by humans?" asked Menendez. "Yes or no?” He repeated versions of the question three times before he got a direct answer.

“The climate is warming without a doubt," said Harbert.

Menendez asked again whether it is human-caused.

“It is caused by lots of different things," replied Harbert. "You can’t say that climate change is only caused by humans.”

Watch the full exchange above.

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