EPA chief downplays drastic climate change report as based on 'worst-case scenario'

Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday downplayed last year's dire federal government report on climate change, saying some of the report's conclusions "were based on the worst-case scenario."

"Some of the conclusions were based on the worst-case scenario. ... And so, I’m trying to take the report as a whole. I’ve had briefings by my career staff, here at the agency, which I depend upon," Wheeler told ABC News.

The report, released in November, warned that efforts to counter climate change were insufficient and found that climate change posed significant threats to public health, the American economy and the environment. 

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE dismissed the report, saying in November that he didn't "believe" its findings. Trump has frequently suggested that man-made climate change is not real, often calling it a "hoax."

Wheeler told ABC News that, in criticizing the report, Trump was referring to the media coverage of the assessment.

“I think what President Trump in particular is referring to was the media coverage of the climate assessment, and the fact that the media focused on the worst case scenario and a few other aspects that really weren’t in that report. But we are moving forward on CO2, and we are moving forward on climate change," Wheeler said.