Greens Seek Basis of EPA Chief’s Climate Change Claims

WASHINGTON (CN) – An environmental advocacy group sued the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday to find out what information its chief relied on when he claimed on TV that human-created carbon dioxide is not a driving factor of climate change.

“Despite speaking in his official capacity as EPA Administrator, the content of Mr. [Scott] Pruitt’s remarks stand in contrast to the published research and conclusions of the EPA,” the April 13 complaint states.

Pruitt’s March 9 appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” where he disagreed with the scientific consensus about the link between human activity and global warming, prompted Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to file a FOIA request the next day.

The group asked the EPA to provide “any EPA documents that support the conclusions that human activity is not the largest factor driving global climate change.”

According to the 6-page federal lawsuit, Pruitt also said during the CNBC interview that ‘there’s a tremendous disagreement about of the impact’ of ‘human activity on the climate.'”

The EPA chief made the comments without referencing any peer reviewed evidence, the lawsuit alleges.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility notes in the complaint that the EPA’s own website contains information linking human activity to climate change.

It’s “Causes of Climate Change” webpage identifies carbon dioxide as the primary greenhouse gas driving climate change, and states that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary human activity driving the amount and pace of it.

The group claims the EPA has failed to meet the deadline for indicating whether it will comply with the FOIA request.

“Plaintiff is seeking to educate the public about whether, during a speech in his official capacity, the EPA Administrator has relied upon or disregarded the scientific research of his Agency, and Defendant is frustrating that purpose,” the complaint states.

Public Employees for Environmental responsibility did not respond to an emailed request for comment about the lawsuit. It is asking the court  for declaratory relief and an injunction directing the EPA to disclose the records.

The EPA did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

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