Donald Trump’s top environmental regulator said Thursday that he doesn’t believe carbon dioxide is the main factor changing the planet’s climate.
Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt told CNBC that the cause for ongoing warming is still undetermined, when asked if the carbon emissions made up the “primary contributor” to ongoing planetary changes.
“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 a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt said.
As NBC noted, the allegation clashes with the recent findings of top government scientists. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA said in January that a two-degree Fahrenheit increase since the late 1800s has been: “driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”
The claim also comes the same week that The New York Times reported Pruitt is handing top jobs at the EPA to skeptics of peer-reviewed science.
Three deputies picked by Pruitt, the former Oklahoma Attorney General, used to be high-ranking staffers for his friend, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). The lawmaker is widely-known for his disdain for climate science, and once mocked it by throwing a snowball on the floor of the Senate.
During his confirmation hearing, when pressed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Pruitt claimed that his personal views on climate science were “immaterial.”
When asked by Democratic Senators, Pruitt also refused to recuse himself from eight ongoing lawsuits against the EPA that he helped file as Oklahoma’s top prosecutor.