EPA Head Still Won't Say Humans Are Main Cause Of Climate Change

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The man President Donald Trump appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency promised to walk back Obama-era climate regulations he claims are "overreaching" in an interview with Fox News on Sunday. Along with defending Trump's plans to rewrite President Barack Obama's climate change policy, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's comments on climate changes proves he's still denying that humans are the primary cause, a theory widely accepted by most climate scientists.

"There's a warming trend, the climate is changing and human activity contributes to the change in some measure," Pruitt told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace in an interview that aired April 2. But Pruitt, who said March 9 in an interview with CNBC that he did not believe carbon dioxide emissions were a primary contributor to global warming, still wasn't ready to concede that humans are primary contributors to climate change. "The real issue is how much we contribute to it and measuring that with precision," Pruitt told Wallace.

However, the majority of climate scientists agree that humans are not simply contributing to climate change but are the primary cause of it. In fact, the EPA's own website reiterates the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's conclusion that "it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming." The EPA also notes, "Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change."

When asked if he would commit to the Paris climate accords, Pruitt signaled he was likely to follow President Trump in walking back the agreement. Although Pruitt said international engagement was "very important" and discussions should continue, he claimed "Paris represents [a] bad deal for this country" and had "caused a contraction in our economy."

Pruitt also said he believed it would be "bad for America" to have Washington dictate that the country be "anti-coal, anti-fossil fuel as we generate electricity." He went on to claim Trump, who once claimed climate change was a hoax, had shown himself to be "pro-environment" and had "nothing to be apologetic about."

Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

"The past administration just made it up. They re-imagined authority on a statute," Pruitt said in reference to Obama-era climate regulations and domestic energy policies like the Clean Power Plan, which aimed at combating global warming by regulating power plants' carbon pollution emissions.

"There's a commitment with the new administration to have a pro-growth, pro-environment approach to these issues, but also to respect rule of law. ... As much as we want to see progress made in clean air and clean water, with an understanding that we can also grow jobs, we had to do so within the framework of what Congress has passed."