Chris White: HuffPo’s ‘Scoop’ on EPA’s Climate Change Talking Points Was a Nothingburger


A Huffington Post exclusive allegedly showing the EPA created talking points to downplay global warming actually indicates the agency is trying to emphasize the complexity of climate change research.

EPA’s media office is directing employees to inform the public the agency promotes science and helps inform states on how to address “environmental emergencies,” according to an internal email HuffPo obtained.

The talking points also urged staff to tell members of the media the debate is ongoing regarding how to address climate change.

“Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner,” according to an email written by Joel Scheraga, an official who served under former President Barack Obama. “The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.”

“While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it,” another talking point states.

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HuffPo characterized the email as an example of the EPA downplaying the importance of climate change research.

“The assertions made in the new EPA talking points are not rooted in science,” HuffPo writer Alexander Kaufman wrote before noting “ninety-seven percent of peer-reviewed research” shows humans are contributing to global warming.

The report comes after EPA Chief Scott Pruitt suggested in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Michael Bastasch that Pruitt will reverse long-standing agency policy allowing regulators to rely on non-public scientific data in crafting rules.

Such studies have been used to justify tens of billions of dollars worth of regulations.

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EPA regulators would only be allowed to consider scientific studies that make their data available for public scrutiny under Pruitt’s new policy.

EPA-funded studies would also need to make their data public.

Several media outlets cast Pruitt’s move as an attack on climate science.

The New York Times launched a two-pronged offensive against Pruitt’s transparency policy that included an Op-Ed from two former EPA officials from the Obama administration.

Pruitt’s policy puts “profits of regulated industries over the health of the American people,” the EPA officials said.

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The Times also published an article focused on objections to Pruitt’s policy, headlining “scientists see an attack on science.” Pruitt’s policy could expose confidential patient data and potentially strangle EPA’s ability to issue new regulations, critics said.

Chris White is a reporter covering energy, transportation, climate and the environment for The Daily Caller News Foundation, where this article previously appeared.

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