EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt faced a grilling from Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday over his climate change denials and plans to do away with scores of environmental regulations.
"You think that rewriting and, in fact, doing away with the clean power plan is going to improve air quality, which you say is a major goal?" Wallace asked Pruitt on Fox News Sunday.
According to the EPA head, President Barack Obama had put clean power regulations in place "through executive fiat" and President Donald Trump has vowed to return to the "rule of law."
Wallace pointed out that the Trump administration's deregulation of the environment meant that China was now pushing the U.S. to decrease greenhouse gas emissions instead of the other way around.
"We have nothing to be apologetic about with respect to the leadership we've show as a country," Pruitt insisted.
The Fox News host also noted that Pruitt was in the minority when it came to acknowledging that humans play a role in climate change.
"Mr. Pruitt, there are all kinds of studies that contradict you," Wallace explained. "The UN panel on climate change says it's 95 percent likely that at least half of the temperature increase since the mid-20th century is due to human activities."
"Mr. Pruitt, are we supposed to believe that's all a coincidence?" the host pressed.
Pruitt, however, declared that "the real issue" was that the EPA should not have the power to regulate greenhouse gasses.
"Sir, you're sugar coating what you have said," Wallace shot back. "You said that you would not agree that carbon CO2 is a primary contributor to global warming. And the question I have is, what if you're wrong? What if, in fact, the Earth is warming, what if it is causing dramatic climate change and that we as humans through carbon emissions are contributing to it?"
"Simple question," Wallace continued, "what if you're wrong?"
"The issue is how much we contribute to it from a human activity perspective and what can be done about it from a process perspective," Pruitt replied.
"But don't you think the fact that we have these coal power plants belching carbon emissions into the air, you don't think that plays a role?" Wallace wondered.
"I think that we've done better than anybody in the world at burning coal cleanly," Pruitt stated. "We have nothing to be apologetic about."