Energy Secretary Questions Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

While touring a petrochemical plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 21, 2020, Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette was asked by reporters about the Trump administration’s plans to address climate change and worsening climate-related natural disasters. In response, Brouillette said “we have a lot to learn about what causes changes in the climate.” When asked to clarify if he believes human activity is contributing to carbon emissions and climate change, Brouillette said “[n]o one knows that”. Finally, after a reporter told him that scientists have established that humans are causing climate change, he responded “Scientists say a lot of things… the bottom line is we live here, so we must have some impact. The question is, what is the exact impact that we’re having?” 

Secretary Brouillette’s statements have been criticized by scientists. Paulina Jaramillo, a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, said Brouillette was “seeding doubt about what we know,” and making claims that are “just not accurate.”