Friday, December 16, 2016

Fact checking Trump's choice to lead EPA on climate change, fracking and the Clean Power Plan

Scott Pruitt arriving at Trump Tower
Dec. 7 to meet with Donald Trump
Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, "has made some questionable claims related to global warming, fracking and the Clean Power Plan," Vanessa Schipani reports for

Pruitt said in May, "Healthy debate is the lifeblood of American democracy, and global warming has inspired one of the major policy debates of our time. That debate is far from settled. Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind." Schipani writes, The truth is that about 97 percent of climate scientists "agree that global warming is occurring and that at least half of it is due to human activity."

Pruitt also said the Clean Power Plan "will 'significantly increase electricity prices," Schipani writes. "Whether the price change is 'significant' is a matter of opinion, but the Energy Information Administration estimates that prices under the plan would range from a 7 percent decrease to a 7 percent increase between 2025 and 2040, depending on the region."

Pruitt said in April, "I am concerned that this project is politically motivated and ignores the EPA’s three previous failed attempts to link hydraulic fracturing to water contamination. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy has investigated hydraulic fracturing’s potential harm to water supplies and found no evidence linking the drilling technique to groundwater contamination." Schipani writes, "scientists didn’t have enough data to reach a definitive conclusion about the link (or lack thereof) between fracking and water contamination across the country then—and they still don’t now. More research must be done to confirm or refute whether water contamination involving fracking is widespread." (Read more)

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