A district judge of the United States has requested that the Environmental Protection Agency provide any documents Administrator Scott Pruitt used to make his public claim that the behavior of humans isn’t a “primary contributor” to global warming.
Last Friday, Beryl Howell, the District of Columbia’s chief judge of the U.S. District Court, ruled the EPA must obey a Freedom of Information Act request the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility submitted last year.
PEER asked for any documents used by Pruitt last year to support a climate change statement he made.
“I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt declared last March on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
He added that “there’s a tremendous disagreement” on the effects of “human activity on the climate.”
The EPA has until July 2 to find the documents and disclose them “promptly to the plaintiff.”
She also gave them until July 11 to “produce to the plaintiff, an explanation for any documents withheld in full or in part.”
A representative of the EPA didn’t fulfill a request for comment from The Hill immediately.
The EPA had called the FOIA request too general and an undeserved burden and claimed Pruitt’s statement did not represent an EPA policy, only a personal opinion.
Howell wrote, “The public statements of an agency head about the causes of climate change, even if those statements do not reflect an ‘Agency decision,’ but merely ‘personal opinion,’ may nonetheless guide the agency’s regulatory efforts and, to the extent any agency records provide the basis for such public statements, those agency records are a perfectly proper focus of a FOIA request.”