Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Back in March, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt questioned the human contribution to climate change. The Sierra Club immediately raised an ethics complaint against Pruitt’s climate heresy.
The Energy 202: EPA finds no problems with Pruitt’s climate change views
By Dino Grandoni August 3 at 8:39 AM
When Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt went on CNBC last March and said that he did not believe carbon dioxide was the “primary contributor” to global warming, he put himself at odds with the scientific stances of many institutions — including, officially, the EPA itself.
But an internal EPA review has found that the agency can tolerate such a disagreement.
A panel of EPA scientists convened to investigate Pruitt’s commentary found that the administrator was not in violation of the agency’s scientific integrity policy because that policy “explicitly protects differing opinion.”
“This expression of opinion, which was not made in a decisional context, is fully within the protections of EPA’s Scientific Integrity Policy and does not violate that Policy,” the panel found, according to a letter sent to the Sierra Club and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and other outlets. The environmental group filed a complaint in March that prompted the internal review.
“It’s clear to me that Pruitt is in violation of basic standards of ethical conduct,” Michael Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Penn State, wrote by email.
Frankly I’m shocked it apparently took the EPA Ethics Committee six months to decide that expressing doubt about a scientific theory is OK. While I am glad the ethics committee eventually reached the only sensible conclusion, the fact this complaint was not immediately laughed out of the EPA in my opinion demonstrates the horrendous pressure on scientists and public figures not to deviate from hardline climate dogma.