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Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Scott Pruitt's climate denial is risky and 'out of step'

Scott Pruitt's climate denial is risky and 'out of step'

The Hawaii Senator, Brian Schatz said that Pruitt is a "climate change denier" and he doubts about his capacity to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pruitt questioned mainstream climate science last week, saying in a CNBC interview, "I would not agree that [carbon dioxide is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see".

"Administrator Pruitt is correct, the Congress has never explicitly given the EPA the authority to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant and the committee has no plans to do so", said Mike Danylak, spokesman for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the panel that oversees the EPA.

In a letter to Pruitt dated March 13, AMS Executive Director Keith Seitter said the organization is "not familiar with any scientific institution with relevant subject matter expertise that has reached a different conclusion". "The role of Carbon dioxide and humans as drivers of climate change is widely accepted among the scientific community, and I'm deeply concerned that Mr. Pruitt, as the head of the EPA, rejects scientific evidence". "We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis". Of course that's true, who (other than Republicans) has said otherwise? He said he was not convinced carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal was the main cause of climate change, a conclusion widely embraced by scientists. The Natural Resources Defense Fund submitted a Freedom of Information Act request on Friday asking the agency for any documents Pruitt relied on to formulate his stance on climate change, including records of any meetings or other communications he has had about the topic. "I can not imagine what additional information the administrator might want from scientists for him to understand that".

As Oklahoma's attorney-general, Mr Pruitt and another dozen attorneys-general unsuccessfully challenged the endangerment finding in a federal appeals court. A New York Times investigation of Pruitt's correspondence showed that he had sent at least one letter in his name that was actually drafted by one of the biggest energy companies in Oklahoma.

CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King introduced a report on the controversy by fretting: "President Trump's EPA administrator, who sued the agency repeatedly in his former job, has touched off a fierce new argument over climate change. When it comes to climate change, the evidence is robust and overwhelmingly clear that the cost of inaction is high".

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