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EPA chief says public climate debate may be launched in January

EPA chief says public climate debate may be launched in January
From Reuters - December 7, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could launch a public debate about climate change as soon as January, Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, as the agency unwinds Obama-era initiatives to fight global warming.

The agency had been working over the past several months to set up a red team, blue team debate on the science relating to man-made climate change to give the public a real-time review of questions and answers around this issue of CO2, Pruitt said.

We may be able to get there as early as January next year, he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee during his first congressional hearing since taking office.

Pruitt and other senior members of President Donald Trumps administration have repeatedly cast doubt on the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide (CO2) from human consumption of fossil fuels is driving climate change, triggering rising sea levels, droughts, and more frequent, powerful storms.

He has also moved to bar scientists from serving on independent agency advisory boards who have previous won EPA grants, a move critics say favors scientists who work with regulated industries. [L2N1N61SV]

EPA has all the signs of an agency captured by industry, U.S. Representative Paul Tonko of New York, the top Democrat on the House energy panel, said at the hearing.

An EPA official did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the selection of scientists.

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