Watchdog probes EPA's Pruitt over carbon dioxide remarks

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is being investigated for violating the agency's rules for scientific integrity by making public statements that carbon dioxide emissions are not to blame for global warming.

The Sierra Club petitioned the agency's Office of Inspector General this month to investigate the comments, and the agency is reviewing the matter, according to emails obtained by Reuters Friday.

Pruitt made the statement that is the source of the complaint during a March 9 interview on CNBC. After being asked if carbon dioxide is to blame for climate change, Pruitt responded, "I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see."

Many scientists blame carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels as a prime contributor to rising global temperatures, resulting in sea level rise, more severe storms and drought.