Speaking to a room of scientists on Wednesday, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vowed to protect the state's progress in the fight against global warming and challenge any attempt by Donald Trump to interfere with climate science.
"We've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers, and we're ready to fight," Brown said at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. "We're ready to defend. California is no stranger to this fight."
"Whatever Washington thinks they are doing, California is the future," said Brown. Pointing to California's record of leading the way on vehicle emissions restrictions and renewable energy, he suggested the state might even launch its own space program if Trump follows through with his advisers' efforts to end NASA's role in climate science.
"If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite," Brown said to loud applause. "We're going to collect that data."
The fiery remarks come amid growing concern over Trump's cabinet appointees, many of whom are prominent climate skeptics. Just hours before Brown's speech, a Trump spokesman disavowed an alarming survey that his transition team sent last week to the Department of Energy requesting the names of any scientists and federal employees who previously attended UN climate conferences and worked on other climate-related issues. The department refused, but the questionnaire sparked fear that the incoming administration might try to retaliate against civil servants who didn't agree with Trump's climate views.
Brown has been fiercely critical of Trump's stance on the issue, calling the president-elect a "fraud" at the Democratic National Convention for his continued denial of global warming.