Former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy wanted the United States to set an example for the world on climate change. For instance, while admitting that the Clean Power Plan (CPP) would have no measurable impact on climate, it was still worthwhile, she maintained, because we need “to lead the world in our global climate fight.” Testifying before the 2013 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Ms. McCarthy explained that the CPP “is part of an overall strategy that is positioning the U.S. for leadership in an international discussion.” She said essentially the same in House testimony in 2016.
New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should recognize that, despite his predecessor’s misguided support for the climate scare, her emphasis on American leadership in the debate was justified. The United States has a moral obligation to set a good example in addressing serious global issues. Whether man-made climate change concerns are warranted or not, trillions of dollars and millions of lives are at stake.
So what example should Mr. Pruitt set?
It should certainly not be Ms. McCarthy’s approach of considering only one side of the science and demonizing experts who disagree. The public needs to have confidence that the government is giving a proper hearing to all reputable points of view, not cherry-picking the science to support a politically convenient narrative.