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Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist and notable critic of sustainable legislation, has also requested a debate on models used to evaluate global warming.
According to the United States' top environment regulator and head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Andrew Wheeler, the Trump administration has put climate change on the backburner of its list of priorities.
Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist and notable critic of sustainable legislation, has also requested a debate on models used to evaluate global warming. He added that while he acknowledges the need to decrease CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions, but that his agency is "not going to focus on that to the detriment of other environmental indicators."
“I’m afraid that internationally when people think about environmental issues, they only focus on climate change. They do not look at the other issues,” Wheeler stated.
When asked what other environmental indicators he is referencing, Wheeler stated that "water issues are the number one environmental crisis." While he is firm on his stance on accessibility to potable water as the main priority, his argument discrediting climate change predictions is based on there being "a lot of divergent views on the models, and the inputs to the models and how we calculate them."
The scientists tell us that we need urgent climate action and the Trump administration wants to open up over 1 million acres for fracking.
California has led on climate and now we must go one step further and ban all new leases for oil & gas drilling. https://t.co/WB0J7VwJ5n
Mr. Wheeler defended President Trump's decision to back out of the Paris climate accord, intended to restrict temperature rises to return to less than pre-industrial levels, saying "it is not a treaty that benefits us." Trump and Wheeler have had diverging statements regarding whether climate change is contributed to by humans, with Trump claiming they do not.
The topic of climate change is expected to be a topic of interest as Republicans and Democrats prepare for the upcoming presidential election in 2020. Congressional freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been drawing attention to The Green New Deal, which calls for a clean energy investment plan to be implemented by the government.
The Paris Climate Accords were signed on #EarthDay 2016. A year later, Trump decided to withdraw.
But the House votes next week to ensure we meet our Paris obligations.
From droughts and fires to record storms and melting ice, climate change won't wait for us. We must act now. https://t.co/96GXLkXp5c
Wheeler has dismissed AOC's proposal, expressing that he believes "it would devastate our economy." Despite Wheeler's dismissal of green legislation proposals and questioning scientists' claims that the gravest consequences of climate change will come from surpassing the 2C tipping point, research director at the Olso-based Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Glen Peters says, "the science is clear."
Scientific reports clearly state that in order to curb environmental impacts, such as floods, wildfires, superstorms, and other events that have been more frequent and severe in the U.S. and the rest of the world, emissions must be limited immediately.
Even so, Wheeler's list of priorities seems to reflect those of general U.S. voters, with polls showing that less than half consider climate change to be a political priority.