The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faced a massive influx of phone calls Friday after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt questioned the scientific consensus on climate change, The Washington Post reported on Saturday.
The agency got so many calls that by Saturday morning, callers were left with a notification that the system’s voice mailbox was full and could not accept any more messages, according to The Post.
Pruitt claimed during an interview on MSNBC’s “Squawk Box” that carbon dioxide emissions were not definitively responsible for contributing to climate change and questioned whether human activity was linked to the phenomenon.
Climate scientists, as well as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, almost unanimously agree that human activity — and CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions resulting from that activity — are responsible for rapid changes in the Earth’s climate.
Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, was confirmed to lead the EPA last month, a move fiercely opposed by environmental and conservation groups.
During his tenure as Oklahoma’s top law enforcement official, Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times, and has said that he will aim to undo numerous environmental regulations — a position echoed by President Trump.
Pruitt isn’t the only government official to be inundated with phone calls. Many Republican lawmakers have faced similar floods of calls expressing concern and opposition to Trump’s policies.
But calls to elected officials are relatively common, while agency heads rarely face the same kind of outreach from the public.