Donald Trump's EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Denies Carbon Dioxide Causes Global Warming
00:39, Mar 10, 2017
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Today's remarks by EPA administrator Scott Pruitt that human activity is not "a primary contributor to the global warming that we see" should effectively bring an end to the term formerly known as "climate denial".
"I would not agree that it is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see", Pruitt said. Other federal agencies, including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have maintained humans' responsibility for climate change and its growing impact on the planet.
To recap, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, global warming is the idea that certain types of "greenhouse gases", chiefly carbon dioxide produced from activities like burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation, become trapped in the Earth's atmosphere and absorb sunlight, increasing temperatures all over the planet and creating serious environmental problems. The recent release of thousands of Pruitt's emails during his tenure showed an extremely close relationship between Pruitt's office and oil and gas companies.
Trump is expected next week to announce an executive order directing Pruitt to begin the legal process of unwinding the climate change regulations on emissions from power plants.
In an interview with CNBC, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the Trump administration will make an announcement on fuel efficiency standards for cars "very soon", stressing that he and President Donald Trump believe current standards were rushed through.
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"Pruitt has demonstrated that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency", said Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Pruitt is signaling that he disagrees with the fundamental goals of the agencies as designated by the highest court in the land.
Trump has previously said that global warming is a hoax invented by China to weaken American manufacturing.
In his Senate confirmation hearing in January, he said, "Science tells us that the climate is changing and human activity in some manner impacts that change".
Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who regularly writes about climate change, wrote on Twitter that Pruitt "should step down" because his position "directly endangers our safety".
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For years, the fossil fuel industry has worked to stir doubt about climate science, give credibility to climate deniers, and sway public opinion - much like the tobacco industry did with lung cancer. The Obama EPA rushed to issue its politically timed endangerment finding to prop up the flailing 2009 United Nations climate meeting in Copenhagen.
"I think the reason both of these guys are being considered for this stuff is they were the only prominent elected officials in the state of Washington that were early supporters and organizers for Trump", said Todd Donovan, a political scientist at Western Washington University.
In response to Pruitt's statement, Jamie Henn of the climate activist group 350.org said he was flat-out lying. And Pruitt himself folded Oklahoma's Environmental Protection Unit in 2010 after he was elected as the state's attorney general.
"The finding is the backbone of the Obama administration's climate regulations, since it obligates the EPA to regulate emissions if it finds it necessary to do so".
Pruitt's statement is also in direct contradiction to what hundreds of scientists believe about climate change and global warming.
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