E.P.A. Administrators Plead With Fellow Republicans to Acknowledge Global Warming

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma accused the EPA of trying to "force Americans to live out the president's green dream." Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Four former Environmental Protection Agency administrators, all Republicans, pleaded with GOP senators Wednesday to acknowledge and address the reality of climate change, the Huffington Post reports.

"We believe there is legitimate scientific debate over the pace and effects of climate change, but no legitimate debate over the facts of the Earth's warming or over man's contribution," William Ruckelshaus, former EPA chief under both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, told senators at the hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety. The hearing focused on the EPA standards unveiled earlier this month to significantly reduce emissions from power plants.

But according to reporter Kate Sheppard, their fellow Republicans mostly ignored them, “instead repeating a variety of arguments about why the U.S. should not address the greenhouse gas emissions causing the planet to warm up.”

Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), for example, accused the EPA of trying to "force Americans to live out the president's green dream." Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) said that carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activity, is “plant food. It's not a pollutant in any normal definition."

The four former EPA administrators at the hearing wrote a New York Times op-ed together last year titled, "The Republican Case for Climate Action."


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