The Environmental Protection Agency did not provide any scientific evidence to back its administrator’s claims the consequences of climate change were “50 to 75 years out,” The Hill reported.
Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s assertion – contradicted by much climate change research – came in a March 2019 interview with CBS News, and sparked a lawsuit and Freedom of Information Act request from the Sierra Club for documents Wheeler used to make his argument, The Hill noted.
Wheeler’s interview preparation, obtained by the Sierra Club and shared with The Hill, never mentions the words climate change nor offers any insight into what scientific evidence might back his claim.
“Trump’s EPA just admitted what everyone already knew: Andrew Wheeler invented these false claims out of thin air as part of his ongoing work to protect the fossil fuel industry from accountability for driving and exacerbating the climate crisis,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement, The Hill reported.
In the CBS interview, Wheeler called climate change “an important change we have to be addressing and we are addressing,” but said its most drastic effects are decades away compared with unsafe drinking water, which is killing people now.
In a statement, the EPA pushed back against the Sierra Club conclusion.
“EPA responded to a narrow request for agency records under the FOIA, not to a request to prove or disprove a scientific statement,” the agency said, The Hill reported.
“It is misleading to portray the agency’s response to a narrow portion of a document request as the full extent of the Agency’s or the Administrator’s scientific knowledge on a subject. In fact, it is inaccurate to state that the documents do not demonstrate any backing for the statement.”
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