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Report: Leaked EPA email tells employees to ‘downplay’ climate change
An internal email sent Tuesday night to Environmental Protection Agency employees included “a list of eight approved talking points on climate change” that contradicted widely accepted science on climate change, the Huffington Post reported on Wednesday.
The email was sent on behalf of Joel Scheraga, the senior advisor for climate adaptation, under the subject line “Consistent Messages on Climate Adaptation.”
The memo drew controversy for two main talking points, which blatantly contradict the agency’s own former website on climate science and a federal climate report that had input from EPA scientists.
“Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.
While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.”
The talking points echo EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s efforts to downplay legitimate climate science, including purging the agency’s website of climate change information.
Although the EPA confirmed the email, a spokeswoman for the agency told the Huffington Post that it was not “an official memo” and denied the characterization of its wording.
“Implying we are telling people to downplay climate change is a gross over misrepresentation of the facts,” spokeswoman Liz Bowman said.
Kris Seavers is the Evening Editor for the Daily Dot, where she covers breaking news, politics, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has appeared in Central Texas publications, including Austin Monthly and San Antonio Magazine, and on NPR.