Energy & Environment

Incoming EPA administrator: ‘I do believe that people have an impact on the climate’

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Incoming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Andrew Wheeler said in a new interview that he believes humans have played a role in climate change.

Wheeler made the comment to The Washington Post in an interview. The comment suggests a break with many top Trump administration officials, including his embattled predecessor, who have cast doubt on how influential humans are on climate change.

“I do believe climate change is real,” Wheeler said. “I do believe that people have an impact on the climate.”{mosads}

Wheeler went on to say that the EPA will likely not change much under his leadership, and that he will continue to pursue alternatives to former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which Wheeler said he has criticized for going “outside the four corners of the Clean Air Act.”

“We’re going to follow the law that Congress has given us,” he said.

Pruitt resigned Friday after a series of scandals related to his spending and ethics as head of the agency. 

But long before the ethics scandals made national headlines, environmentalists had been critical of Pruitt and other administration officials for their views on climate change.

President Trump, who has referred to global warming as a Chinese “hoax,” has faced critics who say he has filled his administration with climate change-deniers.

Pruitt, a longtime skeptic of climate science, has questioned the role of carbon dioxide in rising global temperatures, and reportedly planned an agency exercise to formally challenge mainstream ideas of climate change.

Wheeler, a former industry lobbyist, served as the deputy administrator at the EPA until Pruitt resigned.

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