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Head of Energy Dept. Denies CO2 Is Main Cause of Climate Change

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Energy Sec. Rick Perry said in an interview with CNBC Monday that he doesn't believe carbon dioxide is the "primary control knob" driving climate change.

"Most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in," Perry explained to host Joe Kernen, elaborating that the "debate" over man-made climate change should be about "just how much" humans are influencing the climate "and what are the policy changes that we need to make to effect that."


Perry's comments come just over three months after EPA chief Scott Pruitt told Kernen that he doesn't believe carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor" to climate change. Pruitt and Perry's comments go against established science as well as scientific findings from multiple government agencies, and elicited widespread criticism and outrage from the scientific community. Since Pruitt's comments, the EPA webpage directly rebutting his stance on carbon dioxide has been removed.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle:

Perry's comments drew attacks from environmental groups, which called the former Texas governor a "climate denier."

"Rick Perry's outrageous comments are the latest indication that this administration will do everything in its power to put polluter profits ahead of science and public health," Sierra Club Climate Policy Director Liz Perera said.

For a deeper dive:

Washington Post, AP, CNBC, InsideClimate News, Market Watch, Gizmodo, Mashable, Houston Chronicle. Commentary: ThinkProgress, Joe Romm column)

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