If it wasn’t abundantly obvious by now, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, is a climate change denier. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence demonstrating its existence, Pruitt choses not to believe that climate change is caused by human influence, while directly catering to the desires of the nation’s largest energy companies.
Following the publication of a report conducted by 13 federal agencies detailing climate change’s effects on the U.S., Pruitt spoke to a conservative radio station in North Dakota about his opinion on the study. (It should be noted that The New York Times erroneously claimed it obtained a copy of the report before it was released publicly; the report has been available online since January)
Pruitt told WHO-AM host Scott Hennen that the EPA plans to host an exercise where scientists question the “so-called settled science.” What he described is, in reality, the peer review process required before a study is published.
“We’ve talked about, Scott, having a red team, blue team exercise, where we bring red team scientists in, blue team in, ask the question: What do we know, what don’t we know about this issue,” said Pruitt. In other words: Pruitt hopes to give airtime to scientists willing to discredit a generally held consensus on climate change under the guise of a critique.
The former Oklahoma Attorney General then described climate change as a “supposed threat” to the country’s future, according to The Hill.
“The American people deserve an honest, open, transparent discussion about this supposed threat to this country,” Pruitt added. “And we need to advance that. Hopefully, sometime this fall, we’ll be able to actually get that going.”
Pruitt also questioned the scope of the Clean Air Act, a regulation which limits national pollution. According to Pruitt, the Clean Air Act doesn’t regulate green house gas emissions and can’t be used to do so. “The Clean Air Act was set up to address regional and local air pollutants. Congress has not spoken on this issue at all,” Pruitt claimed.
Pruitt’s tour of North Dakota, his first as EPA administrator, included two stops: a meeting to discuss the Waters of the U.S. repeal and another at an energy laboratory owned by the University of North Dakota. Both events were closed to the public and press.