EPA chief unconvinced on Carbon dioxide link to global warming
I suppose it could be said that Pruitt's opinions on climate change are because he isn't a scientist, or is not interested in science.
Pruitt also argued that a Paris climate agreement signed by President Barack Obama should have been treated as a treaty and gone through senate confirmation. The EPA has already concluded that carbon dioxide is the primary driver of human-caused climate change since the Industrial Revolution and especially since the mid-20th century.
Interestingly, unlike numerous outright climate deniers in his political party including President Trump who believes global warming is a "hoax", Pruitt has admitted that climate change is real and humans contribute to it.
But during his appearance on CNBC, Pruitt said, "there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see". "Embracing ignorance is not an option", Ben Santer, climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said in a statement. In formal written testimony (Page 122) as part of "Questions for the Record", Pruitt certified that "I also believe the Administrator has an important role when it comes to the regulation of carbon dioxide, which I will fulfill consistent with MA v. EPA and the agency's Endangerment Finding on Greenhouse Gases respective of the applicable statutory framework established by Congress".
Pruitt said the Supreme Court's decision should not have been viewed as permission for the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) said Pruitt should not be spreading "alternative facts", a reference to a phrase Kellyanne Conway was criticized for using last month.
"In recent years, critics would say the EPA has been too focused on CO2" - carbon dioxide - "and maybe things like hazardous waste sites, particulate pollution, strip mining, what's happening to the oceans - there are so many things that the EPA could do productively that maybe have been diverted from this single-minded focus on CO2", host Joe Kernen asked.
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A core EPA function is the regulation of greenhouse gases, including CO2. During separate questioning in committee Pruitt also explicitly acknowledged "That the endangerment finding is there and needs to be enforced and respected".
While serving as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt coordinated closely with fossil-fuel companies to undermine federal efforts to curb carbon emissions, emails later showed.
Environmental groups immediately condemned Pruitt for his comments.
"The mask is off". Yet this common approach among climate science deniers is exactly what Pruitt is doing with his new role as the head of the EPA.
The new EPA chief said he was committed to ensuring thorough processes for environmental rules and regulations to reduce "regulatory uncertainty".
Mr Pruitt added that he shared Mr Trump's view the global climate accord agreed by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015 was a "bad deal".
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