EPA Adminstrator Scott Pruitt. Photo: Andrew Harrer / Getty Images

By Scott Waldman
5 June 2018

(E&E News) – EPA must produce the opposing body of science Administrator Scott Pruitt has relied upon to claim that humans are not the primary drivers of global warming, a federal judge has ruled.

The EPA boss has so far resisted attempts to show the science backing up his claims. His critics say such evidence doesn’t exist, even as Pruitt has called for greater science transparency at the agency.

Now, a court case may compel him to produce research that attempts to contradict the mountain of peer-reviewed studies collected by the world’s top science agencies over decades that show humans are warming the planet at an unprecedented pace through the burning of fossil fuels.

Not long after he took over as EPA administrator, Pruitt appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” where he was asked about carbon dioxide and climate change. He said, “I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

The next day, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, or PEER, filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the studies Pruitt used to make his claims. Specifically, the group requested “EPA documents that support the conclusion that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change.”

On Friday, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, ordered the agency to comply.

“Particularly troubling is the apparent premise of this agency challenge to the FOIA request, namely: that the evidentiary basis for a policy or factual statement by an agency head, including about the scientific factors contributing to climate change, is inherently unknowable.”

If the case proceeds, it could mean that Pruitt would have to produce such research in the coming months or next year. [more]

Judge Orders EPA to Produce Science behind Pruitt’s Warming Claims

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