The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt on Moday signaled his strategy to protect the environment with a visit to Disney World, underlining its commitment to sustainable energy.
Namely, the a program of the theme park’s converts food waste into electric power instead of throwing it in landfills. Pruitt pointed out that the program demonstrates the work of “corporate partners and communities who want to do things the right way, and find innovative ways to address issues.”
EPA’s administrator, who was confirmed by the Senate in February, has so far repealed two Obama-era regulations, the Clean Power Plan as well as the Waters of the United States rule, which he maintains do not give results. He also influenced President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. However, he claimed his agency’s mission was to ensure environmental protection, which he said was accomplished in partnership with innovations in the private sectors like the one used by Disney World.
“When you think about those things, the Paris [climate] accord or the CPP, none of those produce results. The Clean Power Plan was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court; the Paris accord, frankly, as I’ve indicated before, was laudatory, but it was not about action and results,” he said.
Some have, however, expressed doubts that actions taken by private companies could be as effective in reducing carbon emissions as actual policies would be, the The Wall Street Journal reports.
Pruitt added that due to innovation and technology, CO2 emissions in the country were considerably low. The White House has often claimed his work to be their signature success, although Pruitt has been the subject of criticism from the environmental community for the same reason.
Pruitt also plans to continue with the Clean Power Plan repeal, which reduces carbon emissions at power plants, as well as to present a replacement rule for the Waters of the United States. Furthermore, he plans to hold debates, which he calls “rd team/blue team” exercises where scientists will be able to discuss the impact human activity has on climate change.
The National Climate Assessment released this month noted that “human activities, especially the emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause” of climate change in the past five decades.
Regarding Pruitt’s decision to begin such debates, one of the report’s authors, Sarah Doherty, said, “I don’t see how having a few people take place in a reality-TV-show format back-and-forth could produce a more rigorous result than the level of deep and thought-out critical assessment by many experts that occurs through the coupled peer-review and assessment process.”
EPA’s administrator refused to say whether he agreed with the findings that human activity influences the increase in temperatures and the worsening of weather conditions.