EPA chief Scott Pruitt believes a recent climate report leaked to The New York Times is meant to distract people from what efforts the Trump administration is making to reduce carbon emissions.
Pruitt, a Republican from Oklahoma, criticized what he called the media’s stoking of fears that President Donald Trump might dismiss findings that supposedly show man-made global warming is already affecting the environment.
“The report doesn’t impact the process,” Pruitt told a local Iowa media outlet Sunday. “It doesn’t impact the responsibilities that we are taking already with respect to CO2. And so I think some of those are simply legend and false narrative that people try to put on the marketplace.”
The EPA chief was referring to a supposedly leaked National Climate Assessment (NCA), from TheNYT, which quotes scientists who feared “the Trump administration could change or suppress the report.”
The outlet also suggested skeptics were “equally worried that the draft report, as well as the larger NCA, will be publicly released,” but several of the scientists who worked on the report wrote on Twitter that the NCA has been public since January, despite TheNYT’s reporting.
The U.S. does not “have anything to be apologetic about,” Pruitt said Sunday about the country’s ability to reduce emissions scientists believe are causing climate change. He noted that technology used to extract natural gas has helped the U.S. tackle global warming.
“If we really care about our environment and CO2 reduction, then we ought to produce more here, because we do it better than India, we do it better than China, and people who have traveled to those places know that. They know that from the air that they breathe there,” he said.
Pruitt’s comments come after he signaled in July an intent to start a “red team, blue team” to evaluate the argument underpinning fears related to global warming. He also suggested that the debate be televised for the world to see.
Military and intelligence agencies use similar tactics to expose vulnerabilities to strategic systems. Skeptics say it would give needed balance to climate science, a field of research many believe has been monopolized by activists.
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