In this March 10, 2016 photo, Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Attorney General, gestures as he speaks during an interview in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP

Trump’s climate-denying EPA chief makes matters worse

Gina McCarthy, who led the EPA during President Obama’s second term, reflected this week on her successor. “It’s fine to have differing opinions on how to meet the mission of the agency. Many Republican administrators have had that,” McCarthy told the New York Times. ‘But [with Scott Pruitt], for the first time, I see someone who has no commitment to the mission of the agency.’”

We were reminded today that McCarthy’s concerns about Donald Trump’s far-right EPA chief are grounded in fact.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.

“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“But we don’t know that yet … We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis,” he added.
Or put another way, the Republican head of the EPA disagrees with practically every climate scientist on the planet. Pruitt, not yet a month into his tenure as EPA’s administrator, also disagrees with the EPA.

Chances are, everyone who takes environmental policy seriously already considers Pruitt a punch-line to a bad joke, but for those who just weren’t sure how bad he’d be, this morning’s comments should remove all doubt.

For the Oklahoma Republican, this is the latest in a series of controversies surrounding Pruitt, including allegations that he gave false testimony under oath during his confirmation hearings.

Before GOP senators approved his nomination, current and former EPA employees pleaded with Republicans not to confirm him. They were ignored, of course, but we’re getting a good look at why they were so concerned.