The comments, following statements made earlier in the day Thursday during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" questioning the role of human activities in climate change, signaled a decided shift away from recent USA efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by pushing the power sector away from fossil fuels.
"But we don't know that yet. we need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis", Pruitt added.
"But we don't know that yet".
Not so, according to Exxon's own research team in 1977, as Inside Climate News reported in its expose in 2015: "In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels", Black told Exxon's Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.
Pruitt clearly made the case to the Senate at the time that he had no reason to reverse the finding that Carbon dioxide poses a danger by causing climate change, whereas now he says publicly that it does not pose a danger, actively denying the role of Carbon dioxide as a unsafe climate pollutant.
Pruitt, who has close ties to Oklahoma's oil and gas industries, was confirmed last month by a 52- 46 vote in the Senate. "The primary human activity affecting the amount and rate of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels", the site reads. In its official statement on climate change, Exxon Mobil says: "The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action".
And, Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune demanded that Pruitt be removed from office for "contradicting science and law".
Pruitt spoke with CNBC even as there is growing anticipation that the Trump administration will soon move to begin a rollback of President Obama's Clean Power Plan, and EPA policy capping emissions from electricity generating stations, such as coal plants.More news: Betsy DeVos Backpedals After Saying HBCUs Were School Choice Pioneers
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"His CNBC comments could hint that Pruitt wants to reconsider the EPA's 2009 'endangerment finding, ' in which it concluded that greenhouse gases harm public health and welfare and should be regulated".
"Humans are largely responsible for recent climate change", says the page, most recently updated on January 17, three days before President Donald Trump was inaugurated.
A core EPA function is the regulation of greenhouse gases, including CO2.
Pruitt's statements show again that there will be no pivot.
Recent climate changes, however, can not be explained by natural causes alone.
The EPA administrator is supposed to protect families and communities from environmental crises, but all Pruitt is willing to do is spewing corporate polluter talking points.
The EPA faces severe cuts under a proposed White House budget proposal, with Pruitt set to review the agency's role in vehicle emissions standards, methane emissions and protection of America's waterways.