Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said his staff will gauge the “accuracy” of a major federal science report that blames human activity for climate change — just days after researchers voiced their fears to The New York Times that the Trump administration would alter or suppress its findings.
“Frankly this report ought to be subjected to peer-reviewed, objective-reviewed methodology and evaluation,” Pruitt told a Texas radio show Thursday. “Science should not be politicized. Science is not something that should be just thrown about to try to dictate policy in Washington, D.C.”
Story Continued Below
Pruitt, who has expressed doubts about carbon dioxide’s role as a major driver of climate change, also dismissed the discussions in Washington about man-made carbon emissions, calling them “political.”
Scientists called his remarks troubling, especially because the report — part of a broader, congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment — has already undergone “rigorous” peer-review by a 14-person committee at the National Academies. The reviewing scientists backed the report’s conclusion from researchers at 13 federal agencies that humans are causing climate change by putting more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to a clear increase in global temperatures.
The report’s authors implemented the 132 pages of suggestions from the reviewers, and now the Trump administration has one last opportunity to review the document before publication. Agencies are supposed to sign off by Aug. 18 and send their comments to the authors.
“It’s a much more extensive process than a usual peer review, which does not typically come out as a paperback book,” said Bob Kopp, a lead report author and climate scientist at Rutgers University.
Kopp said he has “no idea” what to expect after hearing Pruitt’s comments. Staffers at EPA had already signed off on an earlier…