By March 9, 2017 Read More →

Scott Pruitt says Congress should consider if carbon dioxide is a pollutant

Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency is a long-time climate change skeptic. photo.

Scott Pruitt does not agree CO2 a “primary contributor to the global warming that we see”

Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, says he is not convinced that human-activity-caused carbon dioxide is the main causes of climate change and says he is looking for Congress to weigh in on whether CO2 is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated.

The EPA chief is a long-time climate skeptic who sued the EPA over a dozen times when he was Oklahoma’s attorney general.  He says he has not been convinced by the argument posed by most scientists that carbon dioxide pollution from burning fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change.

“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,” he told CNBC on Thursday. “So no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Scientists were quick to criticize Pruitt’s stance, saying he is ignoring years of research that shows fossil fuel burning as the main factor in climate change.

In a statement, Ben Santer, climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Library said “We can’t afford to reject this clear and compelling scientific evidence when we make public policy. Embracing ignorance is not an option.”

In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are an air pollutant that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.  In 2009, the EPA declared CO2 and five other heat-trapping gases as pollutants.

Pruitt told CNBC “Nowhere in the continuum, nowhere in the equation, has Congress spoken. The legislative branch has not addressed this issue at all.”

He added that the Supreme Court’s decision should not be viewed as permission for the EPA to regulate CO2 emissions.

“So I think all those things need to be addressed as we go forward, not least of which is the response of the legislative branch with respect to this issue,” he said.

Pruitt also said the Trump administration will soon make an announcement on fuel efficiency standards for cars.  He says he and President Trump believe the current regulations were rushed through.

Concerning the Paris Accord, Pruitt says he agrees with President Trump that global climate agreement was a “bad deal”.  A month and a half into his presidency, Trump has been silent on the Paris Accord, despite promises to pull out of the Paris 2015 pact.


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