Be precise about global warming

Scott Pruitt's climate denial is dangerous and 'out of step'

The EPA says on its website that "carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change". The petitioners presented their scientific evidence in support of that contention.

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".

Pruitt has previously cast doubt on the extensive body of scientific evidence showing that the planet is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame. "Embracing ignorance is not an option", Ben Santer, climate researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said in a statement.

The Supreme Court unleashed a fury of regulation and litigation when it ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases were an air pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

And Pruitt is packing EPA management with fellow fossil fuel industry-friendly staffers. The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, "a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere", the agencies said in a joint statement.

In an interview with CNBC, Mr Pruitt also said the Government would make an announcement on fuel-efficiency standards for cars "very soon", stressing he and President Donald Trump believed current standards were rushed through.

When asked at his confirmation hearing in January whether he would uphold the EPA endangerment finding, Pruitt said it was the "law of the land" and he was obliged to uphold it for now. The wind power industry alone has attracted $140 billion into the US economy over the past decade, with the biggest beneficiaries being Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota and Mr. Pruitt's home state, Oklahoma, which all generated at least 20 percent of their energy with wind a year ago.

Pruitt filed a half-dozen lawsuits against the EPA as Oklahoma's attorney general.

"The mask is off". Just look at the Climate Leadership Council, a group of prominent Republicans, including former US secretaries of State and Treasury, who are pushing a proposal to put a price on carbon in exchange for reducing other regulations.

Finally, Pruitt calls the global agreement to take actions that will mitigate climate change 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.

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