The head of the EPA defended President Donald Trump’s move to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement Friday, calling it a “courageous decision” that took all sides of the issue into consideration. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the White House press corps the U.S. has already reduced its carbon footprint to 1990s levels, noting that the nation has led by example.
“We have taken significant steps to reduce our CO2 footprint,” Pruitt said. “We are leading with action, not words. Paris, at its core, was a bunch of words committed to minimal environmental benefit, and cost the country a substantial amount of money and put us at an economic disadvantage.”
Pruitt was asked multiple times during his brief appearance in the White House briefing room if Trump believes in climate change or if he thinks it’s a hoax, which he has alluded to in the past. He declined to answer the question directly, saying the discussions the president had with his team did not revolve around personal beliefs.
“All of the discussions were focused on one single issue: is Paris good or not for this country? That’s the focus,” Pruitt said. “And the focus remained on whether Paris put us at an economic disadvantage.
“It was a failed deal to begin with and even if all targets are met by the nations on the globe, it was reducing temperature two-tenths of one degree. That’s what the president focused on.”
Pruitt was later asked if he himself believed climate change was real, to which he replied, “I indicated [during my confirmation hearings] that in fact, global warming is occurring. That human activity contributes in some manner, and measuring with precision the degree of human contribution is challenging.”
During the briefing, both Pruitt and White House press secretary Sean Spicer reiterated Trump’s desire to either renegotiate America’s place in the Paris agreement or put together a new deal.
“The president believes that it is in our country’s best interest to renegotiate the deal,” Spicer said.
source–jason devaney, newsmax