Climate Science Misrepresented by EPA Administrator

Silencing Science Tracker

Climate Science Misrepresented by EPA Administrator

In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box on March 9, 2017, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection (EPA) Scott Pruitt questioned scientific research indicating that greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of climate change. He said: “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 [i.e., carbon dioxide] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” That statement contradicts the findings of researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, who reported in January 2017 that “[t]he planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”

UpdateOn March 10, 2018, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with EPA seeking copies of the studies on which Administrator Pruitt based his claim that human activity is not the primary contributor to climate change. EPA refused to comply with the request, arguing that it amounted to an improper “interrogation,” and a “fishing expedition” to explore Pruitt’s “personal opinion.”

On June 1, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered EPA to comply with PEER’s FOIA request.


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