EPA Head Denies Link Between Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change

If you were to ask scientists and environmental advocates whether or not carbon dioxide is responsible for heating our planet, the answer would be an unequivocal yes. However, if you were to ask Scott Pruitt, our current Environmental Protection Agency head, you’d sadly receive a completely different answer.

“I would not agree that [carbon dioxide] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt said to CNBC.

It’s a frightening, but not altogether surprising statement from a man who, in his Senate confirmation hearings, danced around the subject of climate change. During the hearings, he did concede that the EPA “has an important role when it comes to regulating carbon dioxide,” but didn’t necessarily commit to doing so.

While Pruitt continues to be careful with his wording to not voice outright denialism, make no mistake – by declining to take a firm stance on carbon dioxide, Pruitt is aligning himself with anti-environmental interests.

Defending his take, Pruitt explained, “I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact.”

So because science can be hard to readily understand, we should ignore the findings of people who have studied their whole lives to understand it? And because scientists disagree whether our carbon emissions have left us in major trouble or we’re already doomed, that’s a reason to toss out the science altogether?

As the BBC points out, the EPA’s website still asserts that carbon dioxide is the “primary greenhouse gas” responsible for climate change.

However, that could very well change with Pruitt at the helm. Already, scientists noticed that the EPA’s Office of Science and Technology deliberately edited the word “science” out of its own description. It’s a clear signal that scientific research is taking a backseat in policy decisions moving forward.

As for how Pruitt wants to handle climate change moving forward, Pruitt told CNBC, “We need to continue the debate.”

Of course, “continuing the debate” serves as a great cover for failing to act. The longer conservatives can convince enough American people that this issue isn’t settled and requires further investigation, the longer big corporations can continue to pollute recklessly without financial repercussions. Pruitt isn’t debating — he’s stalling.

At this point, stalling is nothing short of self-destructive. Scientists are united in the idea that the time to act on climate change is now and that anything short of immediate, drastic action sets us up for disaster in the long-term.

Democrats in the U.S. Senate, almost all of which voted against Pruitt’s nomination, are understandably displeased. “Anyone who denies over a century’s worth of established science and basic facts is unqualified to be the administrator of the EPA,” said Senator Brian Schatz. The Hawaiian Democrat currently heads the Senate’s Climate Action Task Force.

As for how Pruitt plans to handle the regulation of carbon emissions moving forward, he expressed an interest in deferring that issue to legislators. Given the Republican majority in both houses, the safe assumption is that regulations would be shredded rather than bolstered.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

96 comments

Camilla V
Camilla Vaga8 months ago

thanks

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R10 months ago

Quit blaming and stop PRODUCING carbons, people!

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago

These people don't seem to realise that the whole of the rest of the world knows they are wrong, lying or covering up.

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara10 months ago

Awful liar. We can make a wild guess at where his real interests lie.

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Danuta W
Danuta W10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Lisa M
Lisa M10 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M10 months ago

Noted.

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Peggy B
Peggy B10 months ago

TYFS

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Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thank you for posting.

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Melania P
Melania Padilla1 years ago

Bunch of ignorant morons running office in the US, disgusting

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