EPA: Pruitt didn't rely on science when making comment about climate change

EPA: Pruitt didn't rely on science when making comment about climate change
© Greg Nash

Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittScience matters: Thankfully, EPA leadership once again agrees Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Saluting FOIA on its birthday MORE failed to back his reasoning with science when he made a claim last year that humans are not the central cause of climate change, according to internal documents.

Pruitt, who appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box" in March 2017, didn't utilize any supporting scientific data to back up his remarks when he said on the show that he disagreed that humans were a "primary contributor to the global warming that we see."


Following a lawsuit won by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) in June, the EPA released documents early this month that showed that no scientific evidence was given to Pruitt to prepare for his remarks on the show.

Instead, the agency provided 12 pages of supporting internal EPA emails to PEER that showed how Pruitt prepared for questions on the Waters of the United States rule, the withdrawal of the Obama-era methane rule and EPA's proposed changes to vehicle emissions standards.

None of his pre-interview notes provided referenced climate change.

An EPA lawyer confirmed that no additional records were used by Pruitt.

“In addition to the above search, EPA presented the twelve pages of material … to the former Administrator before his departure from the Agency and asked him if he was aware of any other agency records that he relied upon to make the statement on the Squawk Box appearance. The former Administrator identified no additional responsive records," the lawyer told PEER.

Pruitt resigned last month amid a slew of scandals related to his management and taxpayer-funded spending.

PEER said the answer proved Pruitt's positions were "unencumbered by facts."

“Amazingly, Pruitt had the gall to preach ‘sound science’ until his disgraceful exit," PEER General Counsel Paula Dinerstein said in a statement.

During his tenure at the EPA, Pruitt routinely knocked the idea of man-made climate change, falsely arguing that the science was still out as to just how much humans were the primary factor. 

New EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has echoed similar remarks, telling The Wall Street Journal in July, "I believe man has an impact on the climate but what is not completely understood is what the impact is.”