Thank you for running the brief about EPA Director Scott Pruitt's opinion that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to climate change. Two years later, the EPA declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants. "In an interview yesterday, Scott Pruitt questioned the role that humans play in global warming".
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that it is "extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century" - a position reiterated on EPA's own website. Colbert pointed out EPA's own website explains "Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change". Litigation over the impending EPA dismantlement of the Endangerment Finding (and other aspects of now in-place EPA regulations relating to climate change) will necessarily come to a point on this question: Does Mr. Pruitt have evidence of profound scientific uncertainty regarding the impact of human emissions of carbon dioxide on global warming that he did not have when he presented his case in Coalition for Responsible Regulation?
CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King introduced a report on the controversy by fretting: "President Trump's EPA administrator, who sued the agency repeatedly in his former job, has touched off a fierce new argument over climate change". Critics, most recently the nation's largest group of meteorologists, have said the comments are a kind of thesis statement of a new era in anti-science deregulation just taking root in the administration of President Donald Trump.
As Oklahoma's attorney-general, Mr Pruitt and another dozen attorneys-general unsuccessfully challenged the endangerment finding in a federal appeals court.
"The mask is off".
Pruitt's statement last week was not substantially different from his stance during his confirmation hearing with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in January, when he said the climate is changing but "the extent of human impact is still being debated".
The new EPA chief said he was committed to ensuring thorough processes for environmental rules and regulations to reduce "regulatory uncertainty".
Mr Pruitt added that he shared Mr Trump's view the global climate accord agreed by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015 was a "bad deal". Trump promised during his campaign for the White House to pull the United States out of the accord, but has since been mostly quiet on the issue.