Trump's EPA chief, a former coal lobbyist, just wants a climate change report that makes coal look better. Is that too much to ask?
The government just released a stunning 1,600-page report on the devastating effects of climate change, a collaboration of hundreds of scientists across 13 federal agencies thoroughly reviewing the best scientific evidence available.
But since the Trump administration prefers to deny climate change, the coal lobbyist currently running the EPA decided to unleash a conspiracy theory blaming the Obama administration for all of that inconvenient science.
"And I don't know this for a fact — I wouldn't be surprised if the Obama administration told the report's authors to take a look at the worst case scenario for this report," said acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, according to Politico.
Wheeler said he wants to "take a look at the modeling that's used for the next assessment" — strongly suggesting that he thinks the Trump administration should meddle with the methodology of the next climate report.
Wheeler also whined that the report did not put enough emphasis on how great coal is.
"Coal has not yet peaked worldwide in its usage," Wheeler claimed.
Unlike the authors of the climate report, Wheeler had no evidence or data to back up his claims.
"Mr. Wheeler's insinuation is absolutely false," John Holdren, President Obama's science adviser, told Politico in response to Wheeler's claims about Obama improperly dictating the report's contents.
For one thing, most of the work on the report was done during the Trump administration.
Further, the report looks at a range of scenarios, not simply a "worst-case scenario" as alleged by Wheeler.
"Assertions by high officials of the Trump administration that these are 'worst case' reports are nothing more than a flimsy attempt to discredit the careful and comprehensive work of some of the best climate scientists in the country, inside and outside of government," Holdren added.
The report that has Wheeler in a tizzy is the National Climate Assessment, a congressionally mandated report.
Among the more disturbing conclusions from the report include more intense wildfires in the west and catastrophic damage to coastal property due to rising sea levels.
Trump himself decided to just bury his head in the sand, claiming that he simply doesn't believe the conclusions.
In a recent Washington Post interview, Trump claimed that he has a very high level of intelligence, but is not a believer in climate change. In the same interview, Trump also asserted, "my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me."
And in a nod to his former industry, one of the Wheeler's first acts as acting EPA administrator was to allow the coal industry to dump more waste into rivers.
If Wheeler and Trump had their way, coal would be in everyone's stocking this Christmas — and burning steadily into the atmosphere to make sure sea levels rise even higher this century.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.