WASHINGTON D. C. — The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency said that he is not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and said he wants Congress to weigh in on whether CO2is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated according to a Reuters news article.
“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.
“So no, I would not agree that it?s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt said. “But we don?t know that yet, we need to continue to debate, continue the review and analysis.?
“We can be pro-growth, pro-jobs and pro-environment,” Pruitt said Wednesday afternoon in a Houston speech at IHS Markit?s CERAWeek, a gathering of energy executives.
The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners
Scientists immediately criticized Pruitt’s statement, saying it ignores a large body of evidence collected over decades that shows fossil fuel burning as the main factor in climate change.
The Supreme Court unleashed a fury of regulation and litigation when it ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases are an air pollutant that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Two years later, the EPA declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants.
Pruitt said the Supreme Court’s decision should not have been viewed as permission for the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
Pruitt has previously said the EPA should not regulate CO2 without a law passed by Congress authorizing it to do so. The Republican-controlled Congress could potentially issue a strong signal to the EPA that carbon dioxide should not be regulated by the agency, a move that would undermine many Obama-era rules aimed at curbing emissions.