Pruitt’s CO2 Comments Prompt Voicemail Jam, Rebuke from Scientists

 

Pruitt’s CO2 Comments Prompt Voicemail Jam, Rebuke from Scientists

A coal-fired power plant in West Virginia.

Late last week Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, appeared on the CNBC show “Squawk Box.” During his interview, he insisted that carbon emissions are not a primary cause of climate change.

“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 told host Joe Kernen.

To many, Pruitt’s comments are in line with the Donald Trump administration’s playbook. The idea is simple: Say something outrageous that will ignite a firestorm on social media and foment the launch of press releases and public statements from organizations that oppose the president’s agenda. Meanwhile, the White House is dishing out executive orders as it dismantles or delays rules implemented by the previous administration. Such changes in policy are not as fun to read and cannot be crammed in a 140-character tweet, but nonetheless they have far more impact.

Continue reading “Pruitt’s CO2 Comments Prompt Voicemail Jam, Rebuke from Scientists”

How the EPA chief could gut the agency’s climate change regulations

 

How the EPA chief could gut the agency’s climate change regulations

How the EPA chief could gut the agency’s climate change regulations
© Getty

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is fueling speculation that he could try to repeal the lynchpin of the federal government’s climate change regulations.

In an interview Thursday with CNBC, Scott Pruitt cast doubt on his own agency’s 2009 conclusion that greenhouse gases “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.” 

The so-called endangerment finding was the backbone of the Obama administration’s climate change regulations. Under Obama, the EPA argued that the 2009 finding compelled it to issue greenhouse gas emissions limits for sectors like cars, trucks and power plants. 

But as Pruitt and President Trump look to unwind Obama’s major climate policies, the endangerment finding might be imperiled.

Continue reading “How the EPA chief could gut the agency’s climate change regulations”

Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming

Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming

 

 

 
 
 
March 10 at 7:53 PM

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s phones have been ringing off the hook — literally — since he questioned the link between human activity and climate change.

The calls to Pruitt’s main line, 202-564-4700, reached such a high volume by Friday that agency officials created an impromptu call center, according to three agency employees. The officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.

Interns were dispatched to answer some of the incoming calls, according to one employee. At times, calls to that number ended up going to voice mail.

EPA did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Continue reading “Scott Pruitt’s office deluged with angry callers after he questions the science of global warming”

12 Things You Need to Know About Scott Pruitt

 

 
Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

From Cosmopolitan

Despite protest from Democrats, and even from Environmental Protection Agency workers themselves, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Scott Pruitt to run the EPA on Feb. 17. The pick was controversial because Pruitt himself is an opponent of the EPA who has even sued the organization. Here’s what you need to know about Pruitt.

1. He’s served as head of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

Pruitt has been the attorney general of Oklahoma since 2010 and, during that time, he’s served two terms as president of the Republican Attorneys General Association. His work with that group alone is enough to raise eyebrows from environmental advocates, since the association relies on funding from the oil industry and conservative groups.

2. Before serving as attorney general, he was a member of the Oklahoma state legislature.

In 1998, Pruitt was elected to the Oklahoma state Senate, where he went on to spend eight years serving in the legislature. While in the state Senate, he moved to prominence in the party, serving as Republican whip from 2001 to 2003 and assistant Republican floor leader from 2003 to 2006.

3. He ran, unsuccessfully, for other offices in Oklahoma before becoming attorney general.

In 2001, Pruitt ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives during a special election but lost the bid. Then, in 2006, he ran for lieutenant governor but failed to get past the Republican primary.

4. He’s a climate change skeptic.

In May, Pruitt wrote a piece about climate change for the National Review, which many environmentalists found troubling. “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,” he wrote. “That debate should be encouraged – in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.”

5. He believes the EPA currently oversteps its bounds.

Continue reading “12 Things You Need to Know About Scott Pruitt”

Carbon Dioxide Is Warming the Planet (Here’s How)

 

Carbon Dioxide Is Warming the Planet (Here’s How)

Carbon Dioxide Is Warming the Planet (Here's How)
An image from NOAA/NASA satellite, GOES-16, shows a composite color full-disk visible image of Earth on Jan. 15, 2017. Credit: NOAA/NASA

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a main driver of climate change.

“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,” EPA chief Scott Pruitt told CNBC’s morning news show “Squawk Box” today (March 9).

Pruitt’s comments are in opposition to the scientific research on climate change. But when even the head of the EPA doubts the consensus, it can be hard to cut through the noise to understand what research scientists are really using when they express climate-change concern. [The Reality of Climate Change: 10 Myths Busted]

“I think plenty of people have pretty serious concerns in their life and they just don’t have the time to do all of the homework and the background to figure this out,” said Katherine Moore Powell, a climate ecologist at the Field Museum in Chicago.

So here’s a primer explaining exactly why scientists know the climate is changing and that human activities are causing it.

Continue reading “Carbon Dioxide Is Warming the Planet (Here’s How)”

Scott Pruitt is a clear and present danger to American national security

Scott Pruitt is a clear and present danger to American national security

Ryan Cooper

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
The most important aspect of climate change is this: It is a threat to human society.

That’s still not how most people think about it, because of the way it has been coded as a boutique environmental issue, akin to wetlands preservation or protecting endangered species. But unchecked climate change will devastate human societies across the globe (in addition to wild animals and landscapes).

So when President Trump’s recently appointed EPA chief Scott Pruitt responds to a question about carbon dioxide by saying that he “would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” he’s not just being a science denier. He’s a clear and present danger to American national security, and humanity as a whole.

Now, Pruitt’s statement is blinkered ignorance on the science too. You can ask huge organizations of climate scientists what they think about this, or you can do studies examining published research to get their views.

Or you can just crack open a science textbook and do a bit of simple reasoning.

Continue reading “Scott Pruitt is a clear and present danger to American national security”

New U.S. environmental chief says agency can also be pro-jobs

 

Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito at the Executive Office in Washington, U.S.
Director of Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt is sworn in by Justice Samuel Alito at the Executive Office in Washington, U.S., February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, said on Tuesday in his first address to his staff that America should not have to choose between jobs and the environment, as the White House prepares executive orders to roll back Obama-era green regulations.

The controversial pick who has sued the agency he now leads more than a dozen times while attorney general of Oklahoma also struck a conciliatory tone saying he would “listen, learn and lead” and that he valued civil discussion.

“I believe that we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs, and pro-environment. We don’t have to choose between the two,” he said in his 12-minute speech to about 70 staff seated in a room at EPA headquarters in Washington, who had greeted him with a standing ovation.

Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the EPA, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last week after contentious hearings that focused on his record as top prosecutor of oil- and gas-producing state Oklahoma, where he sued the EPA repeatedly to stop federal environmental rules.

Democrats, environmental advocates and many of the EPA’s current and former staff worry Pruitt’s appointment signals a reversal in America’s progress cleaning up air and water and in fighting global climate change.

Continue reading “New U.S. environmental chief says agency can also be pro-jobs”

Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action

Energy and Environment

February 20 at 6:43 PM

President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures.

While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards. Individuals familiar with the proposals asked for anonymity to describe them in advance of their announcement, which could come as soon as this week.

One executive order — which the Trump administration will couch as reducing U.S. dependence on other countries for energy — will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities. It also instructs the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.

Continue reading “Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action”

Restoring EPA Priorities and Involving Federal Employees

 

Restoring EPA Priorities and Involving Federal Employees

 

Several agencies are on the political and legislative radar for significant changes or even elimination.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of them and the agency may have replaced the Veterans Administration for being the most frequent agency in the news.

Targeting the EPA For Elimination

Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz has submitted a bill to eliminate the agency by December 2018. Congressman Gaetz cited a quote referring to the agency as one that is “relentlessly ideological, politicized, corrupt and incompetent.”

In a recent article, he noted he is opposed to what the agency is doing and not the underlying mission:

“The EPA budget is $8 billion. Much of this money filters through to states through joint programs, but far too much is spent on Washington-driven bureaucracy and endless studies; $27 million even goes to foreign governments, while environmental priorities at home languish.”

In other words, he wants to scrap the EPA and start over with a smaller, more focused organization. This bill is not given a significant chance of passing into law.

About the EPA

 

Continue reading “Restoring EPA Priorities and Involving Federal Employees”

Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as E.P.A. Head

Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as E.P.A. Head

Scott Pruitt at his confirmation hearing to head the Environmental Protection Agency.CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt on Friday to run the Environmental Protection Agency, putting a seasoned legal opponent of the agency at the helm of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle major regulations on climate change and clean water — and to cut the size and authority of the government’s environmental enforcer.

Senators voted 52 to 46 to confirm Mr. Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general who has built a career out of suing to block the E.P.A.’s major environmental rules and has called for the dissolution of much of the agency’s authority. One Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, crossed party lines to vote against Mr. Pruitt, while two Democrats, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, both from coal-rich states where voters generally oppose environmental rules, voted for him.

Democrats railed all night on the Senate floor against Mr. Pruitt and urged Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, to delay the confirmation vote until after next Tuesday, when the Oklahoma attorney general’s office is under order to release about 3,000 of Mr. Pruitt’s emails related to his communications with the fossil fuel industry.

But the effort did little but deprive Democrats of sleep.

Continue reading “Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt as E.P.A. Head”