Trump’s EPA chief isn’t sure humans are causing global warming
President Donald Trump’s new EPA chief Scott Pruitt told CNBC Thursday that he does not believe carbon dioxide or human activity are the primary contributors to global climate change and called the Paris climate agreement a “bad deal.”
“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 no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt said. “We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”
Pruitt’s comments on climate change put him directly at odds with the other scientific agencies of the federal government including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the vast majority of climate scientists. Two days before Trump’s inauguration earlier this year, both agencies said that 2016 was the hottest year on record and that the planet’s average temperature had increased 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. They said these effects were “driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”
During his confirmation hearing in January, Pruitt refused to answer Senator Bernie Sanders’ question “why is the climate changing?” and said his personal opinion on the matter was “immaterial.” Pruitt told Sanders that he still believed the “EPA has a very important role at regulating the emission of CO2.”
Now confirmed, Pruitt said this morning that it was a “fair criticism” that the previous administration had been too focused on regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like methane.
Pruitt also criticized the Paris climate agreement which the Trump administration is considering withdrawing from.
“I happen to think the Paris accord, the Paris treaty, or the Paris Agreement, if you will, should have been treated as a treaty, should have gone through senate confirmation. That’s a concern,” he said.