EPA Chief Pruitt Doubts CO2 Is Main Climate Change Culprit

EPA Chief Pruitt Doubts CO2 Is Main Climate Change Culprit

Data released in January by NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the planet's rising temperature has been "driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions in the atmosphere".

Climate scientists widely agree that greenhouse gases emitted by humans-most importantly carbon dioxide-are the primary cause of global warming as they trap heat in the atmosphere.

It genuinely is akin to a fifth column - save not one loyal to a foreign power, but one to the oil and gas industry, with whom Pruitt has been working hand-in-glove for his entire career.

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.

He also previously expressed doubt over the science proving climate change, co-penning a National Review column earlier this year in which he said such science is "far from settled".

Pruitt, who has denied human activity is the cause of higher global temperatures, is a Republican politician with no scientific background who dissolved Oklahoma's Environmental Protection Unit and sued the EPA 14 times during his tenure as the Attorney General of that state, according to the New York Times. However, his official position remains that humanity's impact on our warming planet is "subject to continuing debate".

Pruitt has previously said the EPA should not regulate Carbon dioxide without a law passed by Congress authorizing it to do so.

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Pruitt's stance runs counter to the scientific consensus that underpins last year's landmark Paris Agreement, which saw more than 190 world leaders agree to lower emissions that lead to global warming. "Human influence has been detected in warming of the atmosphere and the ocean, in changes in the global water cycle, in reductions in snow and ice, in global mean sea level rise, and in changes in some climate extremes", the summary says.

Pie charts on a Department of Energy website illustrating the link between coal and greenhouse gas emissions also have disappeared. "Science tells us that the climate is changing and that human activity in some manner impacts that change".

Pruitt's comments will likely please his boss, who has famously described climate change as a Chinese hoax. During separate questioning in committee Pruitt also explicitly acknowledged "That the endangerment finding is there and needs to be enforced and respected".

So, you'd think the media wouldn't come out guns blazing when Pruitt says the same thing he's been on record saying for months. As Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt worked with these companies to bring over a dozen lawsuits against the EPA and undo environmental regulations.

The plan, similar to numerous other Obama-era policies to combat climate change and safeguard clean air and water, is likely to be dismantled by the Trump administration.

Mustafa Santiago Ali worked at the EPA for 24 years, most recently as the assistant associate administrator for environmental justice and a senior adviser to former Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Separately, in an exchange with Senator Bernie Sanders, Pruitt said "Senator, I believe that the [EPA] administrator has a very important role to perform in regulating CO2".