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EPA office to review Pruitt climate change comment after Sierra Club inquiry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's scientific integrity office is reviewing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's recent comments on climate change for potential violations of the agency's policies, Reuters reported.

The comments were referred to the EPA's Scientific Integrity Officer by the EPA's Office of Inspector General after an inquiry was made by the Sierra Club, Reuters reported March 31. The EPA's scientific integrity policy requires employees and policymakers to involve science experts on scientific issues and promote scientific and ethical standards.

Referring to carbon dioxide, Pruitt told a CNBC interviewer on March 9, "I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see."

The Inspector General's office responded to the Sierra Club March 30 in an email, stating that the scientific integrity office would review the comments and notify the office of the inspector general if there were any findings or conclusions that warranted further consideration.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman told Reuters that Pruitt would make no apologies for having a "candid dialogue about climate science."

"Differing views and opinions on scientific and technical matters is a legitimate and necessary part of EPA's decision-making process, which is consistent with EPA's scientific integrity policy that was in place even during the Obama administration," Bowman said in an email to Reuters.