Right Opinion

Scientists, Economists, Ethicists, Other Scholars Support EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt

Cornwall Alliance · Jan. 18, 2017

The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation this week released an open letter to the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee supporting the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt’s confirmation hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 18.

“Some environmental activists are determined to prevent Mr. Pruitt’s confirmation, painting him as a ‘science denier’ or a ‘climate-change denier,’” said Cornwall Alliance founder and national spokesman Dr. E. Calvin Beisner. “He is neither. He’s a solid, common-sense attorney general who will bring much-needed reform to the EPA.”

Signed by 130 evangelical, mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish scientists, economists, legal scholars, policy experts and religious leaders, and over 230 other citizens to date, the open letter says that as Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt has demonstrated his legal expertise in successful litigation to require corporations — including the energy corporations so prominent in his state’s economy — to abide by environmental laws and regulations. He has publicly expressed his conviction that the EPA’s role is not to create law through regulations that exceed the scope of enabling legislation but to implement the intent of that legislation. His Christian faith underlies his commitment to protecting human health and life through pollution controls firmly based on sound science and cost/benefit analysis.

The open letter counters some radical environmentalists and religious activists who oppose Mr. Pruitt because he questions exaggerated fears of human-induced global warming — fears based on global climate computer models, not validated by the empirical evidence crucial to genuine science — and their antipathy to the development of the abundant, reliable, affordable energy indispensable to lifting and keeping whole societies out of poverty and the disease and premature death that invariably accompany it.

Signers therefore urge Pruitt’s confirmation.

“Those who signed our open letter include climate scientists, physicists, geologists, ecologists, environmental and developmental economists, theologians, philosophers, religious leaders, and legal scholars,” Beisner says. “We think that’s important because climate and energy policy must be addressed in light of insights from all these fields of expertise. Science is important, but it can only tell us what is, and climate scientists on all sides acknowledge myriad major uncertainties about the magnitude and consequences of human influence on global climate. It cannot tell us what should be. For that, you need economics and ethics.”

Some of the 130 expert signers include:

  • William L. Anderson, Ph.D. (Economics), Professor of Economics, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD

  • James A. Borland, (Th.D.), Theology, Professor of Theology, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

  • Roger L. Burtner, Ph.D. (Geology), former National Science Foundation Fellow; former Adjunct Professor, Case Western Reserve University; Principal, Remote Sensing Exploration, Fullerton CA

  • Neil L. Frank, Ph.D. (Meteorology), former Director, National Hurricane Center (1974–1987), Chief Meteorologist, KHOU-TV Houston (1987–2008)

  • Bruce L. Gordon, Ph.D. (History and Philosophy of Science), Associate Professor, History and Philosophy of Science, Houston Baptist University, Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture, Discovery Institute, Richmond, TX

  • William Happer, Ph.D., Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

  • David Legates, Ph.D. (Climatology), Professor of Climatology and Geography, University of Delaware

  • Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics), Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Emeritus, MIT

  • Anthony R. Lupo, Ph.D. (Atmospheric Science), Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

  • Matthew Malkan, Ph.D. (Astrophysics), Professor of Physics & Astronomy, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA

  • Craig Vincent Mitchell, Ph.D. (Philosophy/Ethics), Associate Professor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Criswell College, Dallas, TX

  • Everett Piper, Ph.D., President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bartlesville, OK

  • Kelly Shackelford, J.D. (Law), President and CEO, First Liberty Institute, Plano, TX

  • Willie Soon, Ph.D. (Aerospace Engineering), independent scientist, Cambridge, MA

  • Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. (Meteorology), Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama, Huntsville, AL, and Lead Scientist, NASA Aqua AMSR-3 Satellite Remote Sensing Program

  • Timothy D. Terrell, Ph.D. (Environmental Regulatory Economics), Associate Professor, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC

  • C. Joseph Touhill, Ph.D. (Environmental Engineering), P.E., DEE, F. AIChE, F.ASCE, President, Touhill Technology Management, Jamison, PA

  • James A. Wanliss, Ph.D. (Physics), Professor of Physics, Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC

  • Anthony Watts, American Meteorological Society certified television and radio meteorologist (retired), owner of WattsUpwithThat.com, Chico, CA

  • David F. Wells, Ph.D (Theology), Distinguished Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, MA

The open letter and a list of all 130 expert signers can be viewed online here.

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