Vox: What Scott Pruitt’s recent climate denial means for the EPA

By Brad Plumer, Vox. 

Over the past eight years, the Environmental Protection Agency has become the main US agency in charge of tackling climate change, issuing a slew of regulations to curtail emissions of carbon dioxide — a key greenhouse gas heating up the planet.

So it’s a big deal that Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s new EPA head, now openly dismisses basic climate science. On CNBC last week, Pruitt said: "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that [carbon dioxide is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.” (This is wrong: there’s ampleevidence that human CO2 emissions are a primary contributor.)

Pruitt’s comments, while stunning, weren’t totally unexpected. He’s been hinting for a while now that he doesn’t think global warming is a problem and plans to roll back as many Obama-era EPA climate policies as possible. But in light of this CNBC interview, it’s worth rehashing what he can — and can’t — do to put these views into practice: