Environmentalists Sue EPA for Data to Back Pruitt Climate Remarks

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By Rachel Leven

Environmentalists sued the EPA on April 13 to provide documents that back Administrator Scott Pruitt’s assertion that human activity isn’t the largest factor driving global climate change, a statement that contradicts a scientific consensus and the agency’s own website.

The Environmental Protection Agency violated the Freedom of Information Act when it failed to produce relevant agency documents within 20 working days, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said in its complaint. The group filed its document request with the EPA on March 10, a day after Pruitt made the climate change comments, it told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ( Pub. Emps. for Envtl. Responsibility v. EPA , D.C. Cir. App., No. 17-cv-652, 4/13/17 ).

Pruitt “stated that as to carbon dioxide created by human activity ‘I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,’” the complaint said, citing Pruitt’s comments on CNBC. “Plaintiff is seeking to educate the public about whether, during a speech in his official capacity, the EPA Administrator has relied upon or disregarded the scientific research of his Agency, and Defendant is frustrating that purpose.”

The public employees’ group requested the federal court say the EPA acted inappropriately in not meeting statutory deadlines for releasing the documents.

The EPA didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Leven in Washington at rleven@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

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