POLITICS

EPA's Scott Pruitt: Carbon dioxide not to blame for global warming

President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency chief said Thursday that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are not to blame for global warming.

"I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that [carbon dioxide] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

His statement comes as President Trump is expected to issue an executive order within the next week that sets in motion the repeal of EPA's Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's climate change agenda. The EPA plan seeks to cut carbon pollution by one-third by 2030. Pruitt, as former Oklahoma attorney general, help lead a 28-state lawsuit against the EPA plan, which was consequently halted by the Supreme Court last year.

But Pruitt's views are at odds with other parts of the government, most prominently the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, which said in January that 2016 was the warmest year on record as a result of increased carbon dioxide emissions from human activities and other greenhouse gas emissions.

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